ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent Jon Karl Earns Merriman Smith Award

By A.J. Katz 

ABC News’ chief Washington correspondent Jon Karl can now add the Merriman Smith Award to his strong resume.

The award, which is handed out by the White House Correspondents Association, honors excellence in presidential news coverage under deadline.

ABC News D.C. bureau chief Jonathan Greenberger informed staff of Karl’s achievement on Tuesday.


The organization cited Karl’s Oct. 2, 2020 reporting on President Trump being airlifted to Walter Reed just before World News Tonight went to air. The info was made public hours after America learned then-President Trump has tested positive for Covid-19.

Karl arrived at Walter Reed just before Trump’s helicopter touched down and in time for his WNT live shot. He and his team had already produced a seven-minute lead piece.

From the WHCA: “His through, authoritative report provided clarity while noting the minimal amount of information available … it is a outstanding example of deadline reporting under pressure.”

Karl served as ABC News White House correspondent from December 2012 through the end of the Trump administration in January 2021. He was also the president of the WHCA in 2019 and 2020.

Merriman Smith, for whom the award is named, covered the White House for United Press International and was president of the WHCA from 1963-1964.