CNN Announces New On-Air Correspondents Based in Tokyo, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Washington, D.C.

By Mark Mwachiro 

On Monday, CNN announced a slew of on-air appointments spanning various cities, including Tokyo, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Washington, D.C.

Chief among these announcements is Hanako Montgomery, who is joining CNN as an international correspondent based in Tokyo. She will report on key stories from Japan and the region across CNN’s television and digital platforms.

Ellana Lee, CNN International SVP & managing editor Asia Pacific and global head of features content said in a statement: “Japan is such an important and pivotal player in this dynamic and fast-evolving region. Hanako brings a wealth of experience, award-winning credentials, and enormous versatility to this crucial role. We’re delighted to welcome her to CNN.”


Montgomery added: I am truly thrilled to join CNN and its top-class team of journalists and media professionals. I will be reporting from Tokyo, home to so many fascinating stories and a focal point in the fast-moving politics of Asia.

Before joining CNN, Montgomery was the East Asia Reporter for Vice News, based in Tokyo. In this role, she wrote and produced weekly articles, created vertical videos, and delivered features content across Vice platforms on politics, society, and breaking news in the region. She also hosted a series of long-form documentaries focused on Japanese politics and society.

Profile picture of CNN's Hanako Montgomery

Hanako Montgomery – CNN

Also joining CNN on Monday is Elizabeth Wagmeister as an entertainment correspondent based in Los Angeles. She most recently served as the chief correspondent at Variety, balancing roles as a broadcaster, writer, and reporter. Wagmeister wrote cover stories on the Kardashian-Jenner family, Kelly Ripa, Olivia Wilde, and The Bachelor’s Colton Underwood during her tenure there. She also led Variety’s coverage of the Harvey Weinstein trial and the Britney Spears conservatorship case.

Elisa Raffa rejoins the network as a weather anchor and correspondent based in Atlanta. Raffa began her career as an intern with CNN’s domestic and international weather teams. She will appear across all of CNN’s networks and platforms and has earned the distinction of Certified Broadcast Meteorologist by the American Meteorological Society. This designation recognizes excellence and expertise in her field.

Prior to returning to CNN, Raffa was the meteorologist and climate specialist for Queen City News in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Finally, Julia Benbrook joins CNN Newsource as a correspondent based in Washington, D.C. She will report for CNN’s more than 1,000 news partners worldwide. Benbrook joins CNN from Spectrum News, where she served as an on-air correspondent for their Washington, DC bureau, covering campaigns, the White House, and Congress with an emphasis on the Kentucky delegation.

Profile picture of CNN's Julia Benbrook