Pat Sajak is retiring from his host position on Wheel of Fortune.
Pat Sajak is retiring from his Wheel of Fortune hosting duties after four decades. The 76-year-old made the announcement in a statement via The Hollywood Reporter. “Well, the time has come. I’ve decided that our 41st season, which begins in September, will be my last,” he said. “It’s been a wonderful ride, and I’ll have more to say in the coming months. Many thanks to you all. (If nothing else, it’ll keep the clickbait sites busy!).”
Although Pat Sajak will no longer be the face of the popular game show, he will continue serving as a program consultant for the next three years. His new role was confirmed by Executive Vice President of Gaming at Sony Pictures Television, Suzanne Prete. “As the host of Wheel of Fortune, Pat has entertained millions of viewers across America for 40 amazing years,” she said.
“We are incredibly grateful and proud to have had Pat [Sajak] as our host for all these years, and we look forward to celebrating his outstanding career throughout the upcoming season,” Prete continued. Pat has agreed to continue as a consultant on the show for three years following his last year hosting, so we’re thrilled to have him remain close to the Wheel of Fortune family.”
Pat Sajak’s career began during his college years at Columbia College Chicago when his broadcasting instructor, Al Parker, told him that local radio station, WEDC, was searching for a newsman. Sajak applied for the gig and was hired to work from midnight to 6:00 am. In 1981, he gained recognition as a weatherman at KNBC in Los Angeles.
It was then that Wheel of Fortune creator Merv Griffin offered him the job as host of the NBC daytime game show. Vanna White joined Pat Sajak a year later. And by 1983, the pair became the faces of the famous evening syndicated version of the quiz program. Wheel of Fortune went on to become one of the most successful and longest-running game shows in America.
Pat Sajak’s affable personality and skills in engaging contestants and viewers contributed to the show’s enduring popularity. Throughout his career, Sajak received several accolades and honors. He has been nominated for 19 Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Game Show Host and won three. In addition to hosting Wheel of Fortune, Sajak has made guest appearances on various television shows.
In recognition of his contributions, Pat Sajak was also presented with a lifetime achievement award at the 2011 Daytime Emmys alongside Alex Trebek, the host of Jeopardy! With an average of over nine million viewers most weeks, Wheel of Fortune continues to hold its position as one of the most popular on broadcast television.
Pat Sajak and Vanna White are also the hosts of the primetime Celebrity Wheel of Fortune on ABC, which is scheduled to begin its fourth season in the fall. Sajak’s departure from Wheel of Fortune marks the end of an era for the beloved game show. His departure will undoubtedly leave a void that will be deeply felt by the show’s devoted viewers.
As of now, a specific timeline has yet to be established for the announcement of a new host to replace Pat Sajak.