STEPPING DOWN. DAN RATHER, 73, after 24 years as the dogged, often combative anchor of No. 3-ranked CBS Evening News ; effective March 9, 2005. The longest-serving evening news anchor, Rather made his reputation, in his words, as a "reporter-anchor, not an anchor-reporter." Career highs included covering the assassination of John F. Kennedy, winning the first interview with Saddam Hussein after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990, and, earlier this year, breaking the story of abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison. More overtly emotional than his fellow network anchors, Rather was famous for folksy Southern "Danisms" like "This race is hotter...

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