John Berman Leaving ABC News for CNN

By Chris Ariens 

ABC’s John Berman is jumping to CNN, TVNewser has learned. Berman, who is an ABC lifer, will join the morning show “Early Start” as an anchor as well as reporting for CNN programs including “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.”

Berman, a Massachusetts native and Harvard grad, joined ABC News in 1995 as a desk assistant. In 1999 he worked as an off-air reporter covering George W. Bush‘s presidential campaign. In 2001, he was named a correspondent.

It was not uncommon for the versatile Berman to report a story for “Good Morning America,” have a different story on “World News” and yet another on “Nightline,” all the same day. In addition to honing his anchor chops, the CNN job will also allow Berman more time with this family, including pre-school age twins.


FishbowlDC first reported Berman was in talks with CNN earlier this month.

> Update: ABC News president Ben Sherwood’s note after the jump as well as CNN’s note announcing the move.

After nearly 17 years at ABC News, our talented friend and colleague John Berman will be leaving this week to anchor and report at CNN.

John has grown up at ABC News – starting in 1995 as a desk assistant and later as head writer for World News Tonight with Peter Jennings. John’s passion for politics drove him to venture out on the campaign trail in 1999 where he logged more hours with then-candidate George W. Bush than any other reporter.

John is one of the most versatile correspondents in television. Inside our building when we brainstorm, there’s a reason that we often exclaim: “That’s a John Berman story.’ He is a very gifted writer and storyteller, and he brings a distinctive voice and style to everything he does.

Please join me in thanking John for his myriad contributions to ABC News. While we will miss him in our halls and on ABC’s air, let’s all congratulate him and wish him the very best in this next big step in his career.

John Berman Joins CNN as an Anchor of Morning Show “Early Start”

Berman to Also Contribute Reports to CNN Programs Across the Day

John Berman, who served as a correspondent for ABC News and regular contributor to Good Morning America, joins CNN as an anchor of the morning program Early Start and will contribute reports to various CNN programs including The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, it was announced by Ken Jautz, executive vice president of CNN.

CNN’s Early Start, which premiered on January 2, 2012 with hosts Ashleigh Banfield and Zoraida Sambolin, airs weekdays at 5 am to 7 am, ET/PT.

“We are so fortunate to have this talented and seasoned journalist join our morning show and become a regular presence on our air throughout the day. John is a skilled reporter with a passion and personality that shine through, whether he’s covering the political season or his beloved Red Sox,” said Jautz.

“John is an exceptional journalist who brings with him the perspective of having covered many of the last two decades most significant stories. His coverage of the past four Presidential elections, experience as an embedded journalist in Iraq, on-site reporting during the 2006 war in Lebanon, plus his pop culture interest and acumen, make him a strong asset to our team,” said Mark Whitaker, CNN Worldwide executive vice president and managing editor.

“It is a pleasure to join the prestigious global news leader CNN. I am looking forward to being a part of the morning team and to contributing across CNN’s lineup,” said Berman.

Berman joined ABC News in 1995 and was head writer for World News Tonight with Peter Jennings from 1997 to 1999. During that time he traveled with Jennings to cover the Columbine school shooting in Colorado and to Cuba for Pope John Paul II’s historic visit. Berman was part of the World News Tonight team recognized with a 2004 Edward R. Murrow award for best broadcast.

In addition to his coverage of the presidential election seasons from 2000 through 2012, Berman reported on the Indian Ocean tsunami from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, and the steroids scandal in American sports. He has also served as regular contributor to World News with Diane Sawyer, 20/20, Nightline, and A native of Carlisle, Mass., Berman graduated from Harvard University, where he was president of Hasty Pudding Theatricals.

CNN Worldwide, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner Company, is the most trusted source for news and information. Its reach extends to nine cable and satellite television networks; one private place-based network; two radio networks; wireless devices around the world; CNN Digital Network, the No. 1 network of news Web sites in the United States; CNN Newsource, the world’s most extensively-syndicated news service; and strategic international partnerships within both television and the digital media.