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Jeff Zeleny’s Move From Print to TV: ‘Reporting is Reporting, Storytelling is Storytelling’

Jeff Zeleny, who will leave the New York Times for ABC News next month, says the decision to jump from print to TV was a no-brainer. “I haven’t worked for a newspaper for quite a while,” Zeleny, The Times‘ national political correspondent, tells TVNewser, acknowledging the paper’s moves toward video in its storytelling.

“The web has prepared me a lot for this new fast-paced tempo of reporting from morning to evening,” says Zeleny. “I think it’s just an interesting moment in our reflective businesses that we’re doing more TV at The Times and ABC is doing great reporting.”

And he’ll have plenty of platforms on which to report: ABC News programs, ABCNews.com and Fusion, the upcoming ABC/Univision cable network.

“We’ll see if I can keep up,” says Zeleny. “I think I will.”

The easiest part of the decision to leave the Old Gray Lady — ABC approached him — was joining the ranks of ABC’s DC team. “I’ve long admired the tradition of ABC. I’ve been big fan of their coverage. The news division is on a roll and doing great things and I’m excited to join George Stephanopoulos and Martha Raddatz and Jon Karl, who’s been a friend.”

For ABC, Zeleny will focus on his main beats, Capitol Hill and politics. “At the end of the day reporting is reporting, storytelling is storytelling, and breaking news is the centerpiece. And this is one heck of a time to be explaining this dysfunctional Congress.”

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