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'The 700 Club' host Pat Robertson steps down after 60 years

Dr. Pat Robertson, Founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network and host of the 700 Club, speaks to several thousand Christians and Jews during "The Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem" prayer event in 2004. File Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/c97e8e77db2e82170426ca027fc2f9c4/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Dr. Pat Robertson, Founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network and host of the 700 Club, speaks to several thousand Christians and Jews during "The Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem" prayer event in 2004. File Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 1 (UPI) -- After turning a Virginia television station into a global religious broadcasting network, Pat Robertson is stepping down as host of The 700 Club after 60 years, the Christian Broadcasting Network said Friday.

The 91-year-old Robertson said on Friday's show that it would be his final one, and that his son, Gordon Peterson, would be the new host. Robertson said he'll teach at Regent University, which he founded in 1977, and join the show every month to answer viewer emails and serve as a senior consultant in international affairs.

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Roberston bought a bankrupt television station in Portsmouth, Va., in 1961 and began to air the Christian Broadcasting Network. The 700 Club came five years later. Now, the network is in more than 100 countries and territories and broadcasts in dozens of languages.

Some of Robertson's comments have gained public criticism, including his call for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in 2005. He also called for an end to mandatory sentences for marijuana possession convictions.

He ran for the U.S. presidency in 1988 and founded the Christian Coalition. In 2007, his son took over the network. Gordon Robertson said he would continue to lead the show for many years to come.

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