Pat Sajak Is Retiring From ‘Wheel of Fortune’
The Wheel of Fortune keeps spinning around, but Pat Sajak won’t be there to watch it turn for too much longer.
In a statement posted to his Twitter account, Wheel of Fortune host Sajak wrote “Well, the time has come. I’ve decided that our 41st season, which begins in September, will be my last.” (Sajak’s Twitter handle is @PatOnWheel ... he’s gonna need to change that.)
Sajak wrote “it’s been a wonderful ride, and I’ll have more to say in the coming months. Many thanks to you all.”
Sajak, who turns 77 in October, started in radio as a teenager, worked for Armed Forces Radio during the Vietnam War, and then moved into local TV news; he was a weatherman in Los Angeles before he was chosen by Wheel of Fortune creator Merv Griffin to host the series in 1981, replacing Chuck Woolery.
Wheel of Fortune actually originated as a daytime series on NBC, which is the version Woolery hosted before Sajak; the syndicated Wheel launched in the fall of 1983 and has remained an afternoon and early evening fixture there all over the country ever since. (Sajak’s co-host, Vanna White, joined the show in 1982.) Last year, Sajak became the longest tenured host in the history of TV game shows, surpassing a record previously held by The Price Is Right host Bob Barker.
No replacement for Sajak has been announced, but as he still has a full season left to go before retirement, Wheel of Fortune producers have time to do a thorough search. After he steps down as host, Sajak will remain with the series as a consultant.