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Norah O’Donnell Jumps to CBS News

MSNBC anchor and NBC News correspondent Norah O’Donnell is leaving to become chief White House correspondent for CBS News. O’Donnell will also serve as the primary fill-in anchor on the Tiffany Network’s Sunday public affairs show “Face the Nation.” She will join CBS in July.

“Norah’s experience on Washington’s top beats—at the White House, on Capitol Hill, and at the Pentagon—will make her a great addition to our growing Washington team as we approach an election year,” wrote CBS News president David Rhodes in an email to staff.

Current CBS White House correspondent Chip Reid will become a national correspondent, based in Washington.

Rhodes’ memo to staff, after the jump.

From: Rhodes, David
Sent: Thursday, June 16, 2011 4:15 PM
Subject: Washington Bureau/ White House Changes

Norah O’Donnell will be joining us as Chief White House Correspondent. Norah comes to us from NBC News and will be on board in the Washington bureau in July.

Norah’s experience on Washington’s top beats—at the White House, on Capitol Hill, and at the Pentagon—will make her a great addition to our growing Washington team as we approach an election year.

In addition to her duties at the White House, Norah will be the principal substitute on Face the Nation—filling in for Bob Schieffer on occasions when Bob is out.

As you may know, Norah has been the Chief Washington Correspondent for MSNBC, a contributing correspondent for NBC’s “TODAY” and “Weekend TODAY,” a panelist on “The Chris Matthews Show” and a co-anchor of the 9 a.m. hour of “TODAY.”

Chip Reid has done a terrific job at the White House and will become National Correspondent, based in Washington, with greater editorial range. Chip’s piece which led the Evening News on Monday from North Carolina is an example of the kind of reporting we’re sure he can do on a more regular basis outside the White House bubble—he’s excited to get on with that work.

Bill Plante is an institution at CBS News and within the White House itself; his experience will continue to add context to our daily reporting on the Administration. And of course Mark Knoller remains the sage of the CBS News White House team—and he has the tweets to prove it.

Looking ahead to election coverage, we anticipate that Norah will take the lead on the Democrats’ campaign while Jan Crawford will take the lead on the Republicans. Jan will be focused on Republican primary politics now, but will be with the eventual standard-bearer through Election Day.

Going into these races, Nancy Cordes will have the Congressional picture from Capitol Hill and will be on top of key races for the House and Senate.

Soon we will have announcements rounding out the management of the political coverage and its coordination with Chris Isham and the entire Washington bureau.

Please join me and Jeff Fager in welcoming Norah O’Donnell to CBS News.

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