William F. Buckley, a founder of the American conservative movement and host of Firing Line, the nation’s longest-running televised public affairs program, takes his final bow today at HBO Studios in Manhattan. The last taping of Firing Line will be followed by a gala reception at the Museum of Broadcasting featuring Mr. Buckley and Peter Robinson, whose public affairs show Uncommon Knowledge has been recommended by Mr. Buckley as a successor to his historic program.
Guests including former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and fellow journalists and commentators such as Alister Cooke, Walter Cronkite, and Morley Safer will also join Mr. Buckley.
"It has been a good run, but — alas — one cannot run forever," Mr. Buckley said of Firing Line, now in its 35th season. "I am deeply gratified that Peter Robinson’s Uncommon Knowledge, which I admire very much, is available to public television stations"
Mr. Robinson credited Mr. Buckley for his contributions to America's political and cultural life. "Bill Buckley, and Firing Line, have been powerful forces for civil discourse, which is all too rare in public life, especially in public affairs programming. He has bestowed a rich tradition that I will do my best to advance."
Mr. Buckley will continue writing his widely syndicated newspaper column, and serves as editor emeritus at National Review magazine. Mr. Robinson, 42, a former Reagan speechwriter, wrote the Berlin Wall address in which President Reagan issued his historic challenge, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" Robinson is a fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, a best-selling author and an Emmy nominee.