Philadelphia television institution Marc Howard will retire from TV Friday afternoon, his artist wife Susan B. Howard confirmed yesterday afternoon. CBS 3, where Howard has anchored the 4 p.m. news for four years, is expected to announce Howard's retirement later today.

Howard, who looks years younger than the 71 he'll celebrate in February, would have marked 54 years in broadcasting on Saturday. Before heading to CBS 3, Howard spent 26 years at WPVI anchoring Action News.

In recent weeks, and yesterday, Howard has declined to discuss his retirement or his future, but Susan says the couple are looking forward to spending a few weeks traveling through Southeast Asia. She's also hoping that Howard, a skilled photographer, will continue in that hobby and maybe take up a cooking class as well.

Howard began in broadcasting at WPIC radio in Sharon, PA while in high school. He later worked at WFMJ-TV in Youngstown, Ohio while attending Youngstown State University. Also worked in New York and Connecticut before settling here.

He and Susan have no children but are the proud parents of Lucy, an African Grey Parrot.

Here's a shot of Howard, with dark hair, from WFMJ in 1960