The Daily Beast has “parted company” with Washington bureau chief Howard Kurtz. Kurtz of course also hosts “Reliable Sources” on CNN every Sunday.
The move comes just a day after Kurtz wrote an embarrassing story based on the idea that NBA player Jason Collins never mentioned that he was previously engaged to a women in his Sports Illustrated article. He did mention it. The corrected article didn’t make much sense without that hook, and was subsequently retracted by The Daily Beast.
A source at CNN tells TVNewser that Kurtz’s current deal with the cable channel will likely be his last. New CNN president Jeff Zucker has made no secret of his desire to rid the channel of long-time contributors that are more closely tied to the channel’s past than its future. It is not clear exactly when his current deal with CNN expires.
Kurtz joined The Daily Beast in October, 2010, after leaving The Washington Post. His tenure at The Daily Beast includes some big interviews with the likes of Roger Ailes and Matt Lauer, but was also filled with controversy. We wrote about a ridiculous item he filed about TV coverage of the primaries, and he emailed a Daily Beast colleague to discourage her from writing about Anderson Cooper’s sexuality. He also was reluctant to give credit when other’s broke stories, and was loathe to correct errors, a number of which were in his big interview with Lauer. Then of course there was always the inherent conflict between his CNN program and his media criticism work, though it sounds like that conflict will not be an issue much longer.
Newsweek/Daily Beast founder Tina Brown announced the move in a note to Politico’s Dylan Byers, adding that with political director John Avlon (also a CNN contributor), the company’s DC and politics coverage will not be affected.
“The Daily Beast and Howard Kurtz have parted company. Under the direction of our newly named political director John Avlon we have added new momentum and authority to our Washington bureau with columnists such as Jon Favreau, Joshua Dubois and Stuart Stevens joining our outstanding DC team of Eleanor Clift, Daniel Klaidman, Michael Tomasky, Eli Lake, David Frum and Michelle Cottle – giving us one of the best politics teams in the business which was instrumental in this week’s Webby win for Best News site.”
Kurtz tweeted about the move:
This was in the works for some time, but want to wish all my colleagues continued success with a terrific website.
— HowardKurtz (@HowardKurtz) May 2, 2013