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reached an agreement that allows onetime anchor Dan Rather to leave its CBS News division.

The deal comes as Rather considers an arrangement that would have him heading an investigative news team for tech investor Mark Cuban's HDNet on-demand service.

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"HDNet is talking to Dan Rather and we hope to do a deal where he produces a show that uncovers news," Cuban said Monday on his

blog. An email to Cuban's blog Tuesday wasn't immediately returned.

Rather had been under contract with CBS till this fall but was seeking a way out, according to media reports. Rather was reportedly upset with the network's handling of a controversial report he did during the 2004 election campaign that took issue with President Bush's National Guard service. After an internal probe, CBS fired several executives involved in the report and Rather relinquished his anchor's seat early.

CBS then lured Katie Couric from NBC's "Today" show to take over as anchor this fall.

"For more than four decades, Dan Rather has approached the job of broadcast journalist with a singular passion, dedication and, always, an unwavering desire to tell the story to the American public," said CBS chief Les Moonves. "The unique mark he has left on his craft is indelible."