The Dan Rather Era Is Over

There was a time when he was "all that."

So big, so quoted, so "it," that it seems hard to believe he has now become a "so what?"

The Dan Rather era is over. Reports are that he's leaving CBS, not with the bang by which he came in, but with barely so much as a kind whisper on the way out.

CBS executives are apparently not interested in extending his contract. Not for reporting. Not for commenting. Not for anything.

It's the Katie Couric era now. The "Dan-wagon" has come and gone. And the man who staked his fame covering the assassination of President Kennedy has now been put out to his own grassy knoll.

It is a reminder — as if any of us needs it — that fame, like ratings, passes.

Dan had a good run: nearly a quarter century in the chair Uncle Walter sat. He covered everyone. He went everywhere. Politicians feared him. Late night comics quoted him. Countless media blogs hated him.

There was a time when Dan scored the biggest TV news contract ever. And now, no contract at all.

I'm not here to judge why things went the way they did for Dan, just that they did. Just like they do for so many superstars who super-nova out: bright one minute, dark the next.

It's a profession and a world that reminds us that the news comes and goes. Even for the folks who tell it.

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