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Posts Tagged ‘Sam Feist’

Michelle Kosinski Leaves NBC for CNN, Named White House Correspondent

michelle kosinskiCNN is making changes in the Washington bureau ahead of the 2014 midterms and 2016 Presidential elections. Michelle Kosinski is joining the network as White House correspondent and Dana Bash and Pamela Brown will add new responsibilities, bureau chief Sam Feist has announced.

Kosinski joins CNN from NBC News, where she has worked since 2005, most recently as a London-based foreign correspondent.

Bash, CNN’s chief Congressional correspondent, will also serve as the network’s lead reporter covering the 2016 field of Republican Presidential candidates. Brown, who joined CNN last year, has been named Justice correspondent, replacing Joe Johns, who was promoted to senior Washington correspondent last month.

“We have put together a powerhouse team of outstanding journalists whose reporting is second to none,” Feist said in a statement. “With Michelle, Dana, Pamela, Brianna [Keilar] and Suzanne [Malveaux] as well as our large roster of accomplished journalists, CNN is positioned to deliver the most in-depth, high caliber and informative political coverage anywhere.”

More from CNN after the jump. Read more

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Brianna Keilar Named Senior Political Correspondent at CNN

Brianna KeilarBrianna Keilar has been named CNN’s senior political correspondent. In her new role, which begins next month, Keilar will serve as the lead reporter covering Hillary Clinton and the Democratic field of 2016 Presidential contenders, as well as the primary fill-in anchor for “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.”

“Brianna has distinguished herself as one of the top political reporters in the field,” Washington bureau chief Sam Feist said in a statement. “She possesses a strong understanding of both the White House and the congressional beat, and we’re thrilled she’ll be taking on this new assignment as the campaign season heats up.”

Keilar, who has been CNN’s senior White House correspondent since 2013, joined the network as a general assignment correspondent in 2006. CNN’s press release is after the jump.  Read more

CNN to Relaunch ‘Inside Politics’ With John King

John KingCNN is bringing back “Inside Politics” with John King as anchor. The revamped show, which will feature a rotating panel of political reporters, will debut this Sunday at 8:30amET.

“Inside Politics” ran for more than 20 years on CNN. It ended in 2005 when then-host Judy Woodruff decided not to renew her contract with the network.

“I’m honored to be part of bringing Inside Politics back to CNN, with a focus on ahead-of-the-curve political reporting,” King said in a statement. “It’s a fascinating time in American politics, in Washington and across the country, and we have a remarkable group of journalists committed to sharing their reporting and their insights each week.”

King joined CNN in 1997 and was named chief national correspondent in 2005. Before anchoring “John King USA,” which was canceled in 2012, he anchored “State of the Union,” CNN’s Sunday public affairs program.

This is the second show that CNN has revived after several years off the air. “Crossfire,” also canceled in 2005, was relaunched in September at 6:30pmET.

More from CNN after the jump. Read more

Joe Johns Promoted to Senior Washington Correspondent at CNN

joe johns cnnJoe Johns has been promoted to senior Washington correspondent at CNN, Washington bureau chief Sam Feist announced this morning.

Johns, who marks his tenth anniversary with CNN this month, has most recently been the network’s Justice correspondent.

“It has become clear that with a midterm election campaign and a presidential campaign on the horizon, we will need Joe’s storytelling and reporting in areas that extend far beyond the Justice Department,” Feist wrote in a note to the Washington bureau. “And Joe Johns is the perfect correspondent to fill this need.”

Read Feist’s full note after the jump. Read more

Jay Shaylor Named EP of ‘The Situation Room’

logoCNN has named Jay Shaylor executive producer of “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.”

Shaylor joins CNN from ABC News, where he served as senior producer on “Good Morning America.” He starts at CNN in a few weeks.

“While at GMA, Jay was part of the leadership team that brought the morning program to number one,” wrote CNN DC bureau chief Sam Feist and VP of DC programming Eric Sherling in a note to staff obtained by TVNewser. “He is an Emmy, Peabody, and Murrow Award-winning journalist who brings to CNN extensive experience managing breaking stories from the control room and the field.”

Shaylor replaces Patricia DiCarlo, who had been EP of “The Situation Room” since 2010. DiCarlo is now director of CNN’s investigations unit.

Feist and Sherling’s note, after the jump.
Read more

Turning Down the Volume for ‘Crossfire’ 2.0


New “Crossfire” hosts (l-r) Stephanie Cutter, Van Jones, S.E. Cupp and Newt Gingrich.

When last we saw CNN’s “Crossfire,” it resembled a scene from “Animal House,” minus the togas.

Eight years later, “Crossfire” has learned its manners, according to CNN. Hosts will use their indoor voices, and will allow each other to finish sentences. The experiment begins at 6:30 tonight, with Newt Gingrich and Stephanie Cutter on set with two guests.

“You have to wait for someone to finish, then make your point,” says CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist, who began his CNN career as a “Crossfire” intern in 1989. “We get that. Obviously, it’s something to be mindful of. At the same time, we want to have passionate conversations.”

Even with what’s being billed as a kinder, gentler “Crossfire,” the question remains as to whether the conservative-vs.-liberal roundtable, launched in 1982, matters anymore in a radically altered cable topography.

Given that Fox News and MSNBC have become so polarized, a political program with both sides equally represented is more important than ever, says Charles Bierbauer, Dean of the University of South Carolina’s College of Mass Communications and a CNN correspondent for 20 years.

“Whatever happened to the guy in the middle?” he opines.  “I, as a viewer, like more than one point of view on issues. We’ve evolved, or devolved, to the notion that tuning into Fox gives you a right wing, conservative perspective and tuning into MSNBC gives you a left wing, liberal perspective.”

Going a step further, Feist says CNN “is the only cable-news channel that is capable of hosting “Crossfire” in an authentic way…. We’re bipartisan. Our job is to represent all points of view. It’s hard to imagine viewers would trust other channels to offer a debate program with equally balanced hosts and guests.”

“Balance” often leads to a deafening decibel level. Toward the end, this was “Crossfire’s” hallmark, fueled even more by a vocal studio audience. In his infamous 2004 appearance, Jon Stewart decried the cacophony, which led, in part, to ex-CNN chief Jonathan Klein’s decision to euthanize the show.

“Crossfire’s” approach was emblematic of the time’s ‘argument culture,’ says Amy S. Mitchell, new director of Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism.

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Newt Gingrich, Stephanie Cutter Set to Host ‘Crossfire’ Debut

Newt Gingrich and Stephanie Cutter are the two hosts for the debut edition of “Crossfire” Monday night, CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist revealed on a conference call with reporters this afternoon. Van Jones and S.E. Cupp are slated to host on Tuesday.

The nightly program will feature two hosts and two guests each night. Each half-hour show will focus exclusively on one topic, which Feist said will give the show “a great deal more depth.”

“None of us are known for shying away from a good debate. But we’ll get beyond the talking points. We’ll get beyond the one-liners,” Cutter said. “We are debaters. We like to discuss the issues. At times, we may get fiery. But we’ll always get beyond the talking points and get to the heart of the matter.”

Look for more on the “Crossfire” debut from TVNewser columnist Gail Shister on Monday.

Scot Safon Out At HLN, Andrew Morse Joins CNN In Leadership Rejiggering

CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker is reorganizing his executive team in a big way.

For starters, after 22 years at the company HLN chief Scot Safon will be departing at the end of August. Current CNN/U.S. chief and former HLN executive VP Ken Jautz will manage HLN in the interim.

“Recently, Scot approached me with the desire to take a well-deserved break, and to move on to the next phase of his career,” Zucker wrote in a memo to staff this morning. “I have enjoyed working with Scot, and I am truly sorry to see him go. But I do understand the desire to do something new.”

The CNN Worldwide chief also confirmed the addition of Bloomberg TV’s Andrew Morse, who will become senior VP of domestic newsgathering and digital editorial, reporting to Zucker. Meredith Artley, Sam Feist and Terence Burke will all now report to Morse.

Michael Bass will oversee New York and Atlanta programming, while talent and acquisitions chief Amy Entelis will now report directly to Zucker. Ken Jautz will oversee operations and finance at CNN/U.S. while managing HLN in Safon’s absence.

Tony Maddox will be giving up some of his domestic newsgathering responsibilities to focus exclusively on international coverage.

Zucker’s full memo, below.
Read more

Evan Perez, Lisa Desjardins Join CNN Washington Bureau

CNN’s Washington bureau is adding two reporters, Evan Perez and Lisa Desjardins, to its ranks. Washington bureau chief Sam Feist announced the hires in an email to staffers this afternoon.

Perez will be a Justice reporter for CNN. He comes to the network from the Wall Street Journal, where he has worked since 1998 covering justice, crime and national security. In his new role, which begins July 28, he will appear on CNN as well as contribute regularly to CNN.com.

Desjardins joins the Capitol Hill unit from recently-shuttered CNN Radio. She will be a Capitol Hill reporter as well as work on enterprise reporting and breaking stories for the network, both on-air and online. She begins immediately.

Read Feist’s full memo after the jump. Read more

CNN Taps Rebecca Kutler As ‘Crossfire’ EP

CNN has tapped Rebecca Kutler to be the executive producer of the revamped “Crossfire,” which will launch later this Fall.

Kutler is a CNN veteran, having served previously as a senior producer and an executive producer for the channel’s morning, weekday and primetime programming, including a stint as EP of “John King USA.” She also worked as a producer on the most recent election and inauguration coverage, and previously served as press secretary to Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA).

“Rebecca brings to Crossfire extensive experience producing political programs and also years of experience on Capitol Hill as a Congressional staffer,” wrote CNN DC bureau chief Sam Feist and CNN director of DC programming Eric Sherling in an email to staff. “Rebecca’s passion for news, politics, and great debate make her the perfect choice for this role.”

Their email to staff is after the jump.

CNN formally announced the revamped “Crossfire” last month, which will be co-hosted by S.E. Cupp, Newt Gingrich, Van Jones and Stephanie Cutter.

Read more

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