Don Newman started at the CBC in 1976, joining its team in Washington, D.C. ((CBC))

One of the CBC's most eminent journalists, Don Newman, who currently hosts the daily Newsworld program Politics, has "opted for the voluntary retirement incentive."

In a message to CBC News, Newman said Sunday that "I will be doing Politics until the end of the season in June."  He did not divulge any more details and said that he could not make any more comment on the matter.

CBC spokesperson Jeff Keay confirmed the voluntary retirement but could not say how Newman's decision might affect the program.

Newman, whose career spans 40 years, opened CTV's Washington bureau in 1972, covering the Watergate scandal. In 1976, he joined the CBC's team in the U.S. capital before becoming the CBC's senior western correspondent based in Edmonton.

In 1981, he arrived at the CBC's parliamentary bureau and has stayed there since.

Newman covered major issues including the Canada-U.S. free trade agreement, budget releases, political scandals and the failed Meech and Charlottetown accords.

He contributed to the CBC Television coverage of the Meech Lake discussions that garnered the parliamentary bureau a Gemini Award in 1990.

Newman helped launch CBC Newsworld in 1989 with live daily reports from Ottawa.  All the while, he hosted both a nightly program, Capital Report, and This Week in Parliament  — a half-hour weekly show.

Newman has received numerous accolades for his work.

In 1997, the National Press Club handed him the inaugural Charles Lynch Award for outstanding coverage of national affairs.  Two years later, he was named to the Order of Canada.

Newman also holds an honorary doctorate of laws degree from the University of Winnipeg.

Last year, he received a special Gemini trophy — the Gordon Sinclair Award for Broadcast Journalism for his contribution to Canadian journalism.