updated 07/12/2006 AT 9:00 AM ET
•originally published 07/12/2006 AT 9:40 AM ET
Veteran CBS anchor Dan Rather will launch the weekly Dan Rather Reports in October on HDNet, the high-definition cable network co-founded by Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.
Explaining that he was not criticizing his former employer, Rather, 74, said Tuesday at the Television Critics Association meeting, the “difference here is the chain of command begins and ends with me,” the Associated Press reports. “You could say it’s like operating without a net, but I don’t see it that way.”
Rather, who unceremoniously left CBS last month after 44 years at the network, described the move as one toward independence. “Yes, I’ve got a lot of baggage,” he said. “Yes, I’m biased. I’ve got a very strong bias toward independent journalism.”
The hour-long show, which will feature field reports, interviews and investigations, will be produced and hosted by Rather, who said he will have creative and editorial control.
“News at its best … is a wake-up call, not a lullaby, and I’m not in the lullaby business,” said Rather, who signed a three-year deal with Cuban. They did not disclose his salary.
Rather’s reputation was perceived as tarnished after he reported a story, subsequently discredited, on President George W. Bush’s military record. But his otherwise distinguished 50-year career saw him cover the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the civil rights movement and Watergate.
He has written six books and covered six presidential elections and a dozen wars on five continents.