BEVERLY HILLS, CA - AUGUST 07: Journalist Ray Suarez speaks onstage during the 'Latino Americans' panel discussion at the PBS portion of the 2013 Summer Television Critics Association tour at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on August 7, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)2013 Getty Images
Ray Suarez, one of the most visible Latino journalists on television, is leaving PBS NewsHour after nearly a decade and a half as a senior correspondent at the national public TV network.
“I am currently considering a wide range of very attractive options in broadcasting, print and academia,” Suarez, 56, told media blog Richard Prince’s Journal-isms. “Confident that something wonderful will shake out, I was ready to leave the NewsHour.”
The leading broadcast journalist also confirmed his pending departure on Twitter, posting: “…leaving to write a book, among other things, TBA.”
According to several reports, the show’s executive producer, Linda Winslow, told staff in a memo that Suarez was leaving to “pursue other ventures.”
She went on to relate that Suarez's presence and influence will be missed.
“At the ‘NewsHour’, Ray has been a member of the Senior Correspondent team that has helped us cover an enormous array of topics and story developments over the year,” Winslow wrote in the memo. “My inbox is filled with rave reviews of his performances written by delighted station executives around the PBS universe.”
According to Current.org, a site that tracks public media developments, the news came just days after “NewsHour” founders Jim Lehrer and Robin MacNeil announced they intended to transfer ownership of the program to presenting station and producing partner WETA in Arlington, Va.
Suarez has not indicated if his departure is related to these developments.
In the memo, Winslow also noted Suarez’s dedication to his craft: “He never complains about slogging through mud and swarms of mosquitoes in search of a story, or traveling in coach for sixteen hours, or not having had a decent meal in 24 hours.”
She continued: “And while I don’t know if there’s a connection, he was hardly ever sick or MIA when we’ve needed him. In short, I wish there were more people like Ray Suarez in this world – and I, for one, am going to miss him very much.”
Suarez joined “NewsHour” in October 1999 after making a name for himself at NPR, where he has hosted “Talk of the Nation” for six years. He previously reported from Los Angeles for CNN, produced for the ABC Radio Network in New York, and reported for CBS Radio in Rome.
At PBS’s “NewsHour,” he led global health coverage, reporting from Africa, Latin America and Asia. In 2010, Suarez was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.
He has authored several books, including “Latino Americans: The 500-Year Legacy That Shaped A Nation,” a companion volume to the PBS documentary series.