CNN and ABC News have made it official: ABC anchor Chris Cuomo is joining the cable channel to host a new morning program.
“Chris is an accomplished anchor who is already an established name in morning television, as well as a widely respected investigative journalist,” said CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker in a statement. “What I love about Chris is that he is passionate about every story he tells, never forgets about the viewer, and represents the type of journalism that makes CNN great.”
As for Soledad O’Brien, who has held down the morning shift for the last year on “Starting Point,” it seems her future with the network is up in the air: “Soledad is very important to the network, and we’re discussing various options with her,” a CNN spokesperson says.
Cuomo had been the anchor of ABC’s “20/20″ and the network’s chief legal correspondent. With his jump to CNN he will be returning to the morning shift he once held when he was the news anchor at “Good Morning America” from 2006-2009. Before joining ABC News in 2000, he was a correspondent at Fox News Channel.
He is the third significant ABCer to leave the network in the last month. White House correspondent Jake Tapper jumped to CNN in December, with correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi leaving for “60 Minutes Sports” earlier this month.
Cuomo, the brother of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the son of former Governor Mario Cuomo, broke out from his family’s political legacy and forged his own in the media business. Andrew Cuomo confirmed that his younger brother was leaving for CNN while calling in to an Albany radio station this morning.
CNN is in the midst of redefining itself under Zucker. CNN executive VP and managing editor Mark Whitaker announced his decision to leave the network this morning.
Zucker’s memo to CNN staff after the jump.
I want to share some exciting news with you.
This morning we are announcing that Chris Cuomo is joining CNN.
Chris will be an anchor on a new morning show we are going to develop for CNN. He will also be an important part of our event news coverage across the network. Chris has deep experience in both roles, most recently at ABC News, and he’s one of the smartest, most engaging journalists in television news. I’m pleased that he’s joining us and really looking forward to working with him at CNN. The press release with the news follows. Thanks.
CHRIS CUOMO JOINS CNN
Award-winning anchor and investigative reporter Chris Cuomo is joining CNN. He will have a major role in a new CNN morning show and across the network, anchoring and reporting on major events, it was announced today by Jeff Zucker, President of CNN Worldwide.
“Chris is an accomplished anchor who is already an established name in morning television, as well as a widely respected investigative journalist,” said Zucker. “What I love about Chris is that he is passionate about every story he tells, never forgets about the viewer, and represents the type of journalism that makes CNN great.”
“This is a fantastic opportunity to do what I value the most and hopefully to do the work that I do best,” said Cuomo. “While it’s very difficult to leave ABC News, a place filled with people I have loved working with for many years, I am excited about my future with CNN.”
Prior to joining CNN, Cuomo was co-anchor of the Emmy Award-winning ABC News newsmagazine 20/20 and chief law and justice correspondent for ABC News. In just the last year, he booked major interviews in the Madoff scandal, Rutgers student case, the John Edwards scandal, and with Penn State Coach Jerry Sandusky’s victim No. 1. From September 2006 – December 2009, Cuomo was the news anchor for Good Morning America, and covered every major story at home and abroad during that time. Overseas, he was an embedded reporter in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq. Domestically, he distinguished himself covering the continuing problem of shootings like Virginia Tech, Ft. Hood, and Pennsylvania Amish school shootings; hurricanes Katrina and Rita; the Sago Mine collapse, and the Minneapolis bridge collapse in August 2007. Cuomo has been honored with numerous industry accolades for his investigative reporting including multiple Emmy nominations and awards, a Polk, a Peabody, two Edward R. Murrows, a Loeb and the American Bar Association Silver Gavel Award.