Jake Tapper Leaving ABC News For CNN

By Merrill Knox 

Senior White House correspondent Jake Tapper is leaving ABC News for CNN.

Tapper will anchor a weekday program on CNN. TVNewser hears it will be the 4pmET hour, currently filled by “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.” He will also serve as the network’s chief Washington correspondent.

Tapper’s departure, which has been speculated about since earlier this year, was announced by ABC News president Ben Sherwood in a memo to staffers this afternoon. “A ferocious reporter – and now a best-selling author – he has built a reputation as one of the most prolific and multi-talented journalists on the beat, scoring scoop after scoop,” Sherwood wrote.

Sherwood also announced the promotions of Jonathan Karl and Martha Raddatz at ABC. Karl will move from Capitol Hill to the White House, stepping into Tapper’s role, becoming chief White House correspondent.

Raddatz has been named ABC’s chief global affairs correspondent (not to be confused with Christiane Amanpour, who is ABC’s global affairs anchor). She will also become the primary substitute for George Stephanopoulos on “This Week,” and will be a regular contributor to the program’s roundtable.

This is CNN’s second major talent poach from ABC News this year. John Berman, who anchors “Early Start” on CNN, joined ABC in May. CNN’s senior vice president of talent, Amy Entelis, spent more than 30 years at ABC News.

The full memo from Sherwood, as well as CNN’s release, is after the jump.


I’m writing with news about our on-air team in Washington.

I am delighted to report that Jonathan Karl is our new Chief White House Correspondent and Martha Raddatz is taking on an expanded role as Chief Global Affairs Correspondent.

As you know, Jon is a superb reporter determined to get answers from people in power and his journalism has been recognized with the most prestigious honors in our business.

In his 15 years in Washington Jon has become a fierce government watchdog.  His investigations into congressional junkets, empty federal buildings and questionable earmarks have uncovered billions of dollars in wasteful spending.

For years he traveled the world for ABC News as Senior National Security correspondent, covering conflict in Sudan, elections in Russia and Iran’s nuclear program.

In the last year, Jon was often on the campaign trail, helping our audience get past the political rhetoric.  His well-sourced reporting gave our viewers an inside track on the veepstakes as the Romney campaign whittled down its list of candidates.

Jon’s reporting onCapitol Hill drives news cycles and he’ll bring his relentless curiosity to the White House.

For nearly 20 years, Martha has demonstrated the ability to paint vivid and insightful pictures of the world – reporting from the Pentagon, the State Department, the White House, and from conflict zones around the world.

She has made dozens of trips to Pakistan and Afghanistan and reported from Iraq on more than 20 occasions where she took viewers to the front lines while also shining an important light on the home front and the human impact of war.

Respected by colleagues and sources as an intrepid journalist, she regularly provides viewers with behind-the-scenes accounts of the major headlines of the day.

Martha’s reputation as astrong and thoughtful journalist was evident to many millions this Fall when she moderated the Vice Presidential debate, posing tough questions and leading a civil and productive discussion.

In addition to her role as Chief Global Affairs Correspondent, Martha will become the primary substitute for George on This Week and will contribute regularly to the roundtable.  Jon Karl will also serve as a substitute on This Week and regularly appear on the roundtable.

Jake is leaving ABC News for an opportunity at CNN.  You’ll hear more about his new anchor role from his new network.  For years, Jake has set the pace for the White House press corps.  A ferocious reporter – and now a best-selling author – he has built a reputation as one of the most prolific and multi-talented journalists on the beat, scoring scoop after scoop.  For the last three years his fellow White House correspondents have honored hiswork with a streak of Merriman Smith Awards for Presidential Coverage under Deadline Pressure.

Please join me in congratulating Jon and Martha and wishing Jake the best.




Tapper to Anchor New Weekday Program Beginning in 2013


Accomplished Washington journalist Jake Tapper, who has served the last four years as ABC’s senior White House correspondent and is a best-selling author, joins CNN as anchor of a new weekday program and CNN’s chief Washington correspondent, it was announced today by Ken Jautz, executive vice president of CNN/U.S.

Tapper has been a widely-respected reporter in the nation’s capital for 14 years and his most recent book, The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor, is currently on The New York Times best seller list. In his new role at CNN, he will be a key Washington, D.C. anchor and correspondent for CNN.

“We are thrilled to have Jake join CNN and take the helm of a brand new weekday program,” said Jautz. “Jake is an exceptional reporter and communicator, and we look forward to developing a program that takes advantage of all of his strengths, his passion and his knowledge of national issues and events.”

“With CNN’s impeccable reporting during the elections and the exciting changes in the works for the network, this is a perfect time to join the CNN team,” said Tapper. “I am excited about the prospect of working with both the new leadership and some old friends and colleagues.”

Tapper comes to CNN from ABC News, where he most recently served as senior White House correspondent, a position he was named to immediately following the 2008 presidential election. In this role, Tapper contributed regularly to “Good Morning America,” “Nightline,” and “World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer,” in addition to serving as substitute host of “This Week” and publishing to his “Political Punch” blog on ABCNews.com. While on the White House beat, Tapper has earned the coveted Merriman Smith Award for presidential coverage from the White House Correspondents’ Association an unprecedented three times in a row. He also played a key role in the network’s Emmy award winning coverage of the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

Tapper has covered a wide range of stories since joining ABC News in 2003, including the war in Iraq and Hurricane Katrina. In 2008, he served as the lead political reporter for the coverage of the presidential election. He traveled to early voting states across the country for interviews with the candidates, including the eventual Democratic and Republican nominees, then-Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain.

Prior to joining ABC News, Tapper served as Washington correspondent, then national correspondent, for Salon.com. He began his journalism career at the Washington City Paper and his writings have since been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post,The Los Angeles Times and The Weekly Standard, among others. He authored a political comic strip, “Capitol Hell,” which appeared in Roll Call from 1994 to 2003.

Tapper also appeared on CNN in 2001, including co-hosting the show “Take 5,” a weekend program that featured young journalists talking about politics and pop culture.

Tapper is the author of three books including the newly-released “The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor,” currently on The New York Times best seller list.  His book Down and Dirty: The Plot to Steal the Presidency was published in 2001 and Body Slam: The Jesse Ventura Story was published in 1999.  He is a graduate of Dartmouth College.