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WABC/7's Art McFarland to retire by month's end

And now this from the local TV news scene: Art McFarland, the longest tenured reporter at WABC/7's "Eyewitness News," is leaving the station May 30. It's all good, he says: Retirement and other opportunities beckon.

McFarland, 65, is certainly one of the best-known reporters on New York TV -- a long and steady presence at Channel 7, where the words "long and steady" have not always applied (though "Eyewitness" is the probably the most stable of the majors .?.?.). He's a solid pro and reports -- as Channel 7 viewers know -- on one of the most important city beats, schools and education. (His mom was a teacher.) He joined Channel 7 in August 1983.

 I just got off the phone with this Atlanta native, and he had a few things to say:

"I would say education has to have been the most rewarding for me because I have so much respect for the students and parents and certainly the educators in the tri-state area that I've gotten to work with over the years .?.?."

He add, "I was proud to be hired as an 'Eyewitness' reporter and leave just as proud."

But "it's definitely time to go and absolutely with a lot of support and on my own terms."

McFarland has been on the New York airwaves (first on radio) since 1978.

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