Who Got Helen’s Seat? WHCA Decides…


The Associated Press and Fox News will now have better vantage points at the White House.

The White House Correspondents Association Board decided Sunday to move the Associated Press to the front row, center seat of the White House briefing room. The board agreed to move FNC to the front row seat formerly occupied by AP.

NPR, which was vying for the front row seat occupied by former White House correspondent Helen Thomas, was moved to the second row seat previously held by FNC. This seat is situated next to Bloomberg News, which also wanted a front row seat.

Find out why FNC got bumped up to the front row after the jump…

A release to White House correspondents from WHCA reads as follows:
“It was a very difficult decision. The board received requests from Bloomberg and NPR in addition to Fox for relocation to the front row and felt all three made compelling cases. But the board ultimately was persuaded by Fox’s length of service and commitment to the White House television pool.”

In other WHCA news, the board made other adjustments to the seating chart, including a brand new seat for the foreign press pool.

“This is the third time in four years the board has tackled this issue, and we urge members to view seating room changes as an ongoing process that will be revisited again as our industry evolves. The changes are effective Monday, August 2. In addition, the board member from NPR abstained from debate of seating assignments for the first two rows.”

The NPR board member is Don Gonyea.

WHCA OFFICERS 2010 – 2011

President: David Jackson, USA TODAY
Vice President: Caren Bohan, Reuters
Secretary: Steve Scully, C-SPAN
Treasurer: Doug Mills, NYT


Carol Lee, Politico
Michael Scherer, Time
Julie Mason, DC Examiner
Don Gonyea, NPR
Ed Henry, CNN