Richard Leibner, storied news anchor agent, retires

Richard Leibner — the storied agent known for advising top news talent including Dan Rather, Mike Wallace, Ed Bradley, Morley Safer and Diane Sawyer — retired this week, receiving accolades from the industry. 

UTA co-president Jay Sures told staff in a memo, “Richard’s impact has been unmatched … His career highlights could be an entire segment of ‘60 Minutes.’” 

CNN’s Brian Stelter wrote in his “Reliable Sources” blast: “Richard has been like a father to me, offering witty observations and hard truths and bear hugs along the way.” 

Leibner is in the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame. His wife, Carole Cooper, is also an accomplished agent at UTA with clients including Anderson Cooper, Dan Abrams, Bill Hemmer, Dana Bash and Juju Chang.

Carole Cooper, Richard Leibner and Paula Zahn in 2016.
Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan
Maury Povich and Richard Leibner of N.S. Bienstock
Maury Povich and Richard Leibner at the Emmys in 1995.
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 16:  Dick Cavett, Alex Trebek and Richard Leibner attend the 11th annual Giants of Broadcasting Honors at Gotham Hall on October 16, 2013 in New York City.  (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)
Morley Safer, Alex Trebek and Richard Leibner at the 11th annual Giants of Broadcasting Honors in 2013.
Getty Images

Variety wrote: “His exit from UTA will mark the end of an era. Leibner is a clever and passionate advocate for clients, and has never been shy about delivering his opinion of the latest goings-on in the ever-churning news sector — as long as he isn’t being quoted.” 

He spent over 50 years in the business, including leading N.S. Bienstock, the news and broadcast agency UTA acquired in 2014.

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