Kate Couric Signs Off CBS Evening News

05/20/2011 AT 10:30 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

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