Anna Ford, one of the BBC's longest serving newsreaders, is to retire with her final broadcast in April 2006.
Anna Ford said she wanted to pursue other interests
She has worked at the BBC since 1976 and has presented the One O'Clock News on BBC One since its 1999 relaunch.
Ford, 62, told the Sunday Telegraph she wanted "to do other things while I still have the interest and energy" but would miss the BBC.
BBC Director of News Helen Boaden said: "We are very sad to be losing such a valued and well respected journalist."
She added that Ford had discussed her decision with her, and that "Anna has many exciting plans for what she wants to do in the next stage of her life and I wish her well for the future".
Anna Ford worked on Tomorrow's World in 1977
She made headlines back in August when she hit back at comments made by fellow newsreader Michael Buerk about women in broadcasting, calling him "bonkers".
She told the Daily Telegraph that Buerk was a "miserable old bat" for railing against women in top broadcasting jobs.
Her television career began in 1974 when she worked on the newsdesk for Granada TV.
She started at the BBC by working on the documentary series Man Alive in 1976 and the following year she joined the science programme Tomorrow's World.
By 1978 she was working at ITV's ITN news and in 1981 she helped launch the channel's breakfast broadcaster TV-am.
Back at the BBC in 1986, she worked for two years on Network, and went on to join BBC One's Six O'Clock News team in 1989.
During her early career she was also the staff tutor in Social Studies at the Open University in Northern Ireland.