05/20/2011 at 10:00 AM EDT
The five years may have at times been rocky
, and the ratings
less than hoped for, but Katie Couric signed off her final CBS Evening News broadcast
Thursday night by saying, "It's been an extraordinary privilege to sit in this chair."
The news anchor – the first woman ever
to go it alone on American network TV – then presented a five-minute retrospective of the past five years of her newsbreaks, including her interviews with Presidents Bush and Obama, heroic pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, beloved stars Betty White and Clint Eastwood, and Sarah Palin, who asserted in 2008 that she didn't think Al Qaeda was being protected by the Pakistani government.
"And to all of you watching, thank you so much for coming along with me on this incredible journey," concluded Couric, 54. "That's the CBS Evening News
for tonight. I'm Katie Couric. Goodnight."
– Stephen M. Silverman