CNN and ABC News have made it official: ABC anchor Chris Cuomo is joining the cable channel to host a new morning program.
“Chris is an accomplished anchor who is already an established name in morning television, as well as a widely respected investigative journalist,” said CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker in a statement. “What I love about Chris is that he is passionate about every story he tells, never forgets about the viewer, and represents the type of journalism that makes CNN great.”
As for Soledad O’Brien, who has held down the morning shift for the last year on “Starting Point,” it seems her future with the network is up in the air: “Soledad is very important to the network, and we’re discussing various options with her,” a CNN spokesperson says.
Cuomo had been the anchor of ABC’s “20/20″ and the network’s chief legal correspondent. With his jump to CNN he will be returning to the morning shift he once held when he was the news anchor at “Good Morning America” from 2006-2009. Before joining ABC News in 2000, he was a correspondent at Fox News Channel.
He is the third significant ABCer to leave the network in the last month. White House correspondent Jake Tapper jumped to CNN in December, with correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi leaving for “60 Minutes Sports” earlier this month.
Cuomo, the brother of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the son of former Governor Mario Cuomo, broke out from his family’s political legacy and forged his own in the media business. Andrew Cuomo confirmed that his younger brother was leaving for CNN while calling in to an Albany radio station this morning.
CNN is in the midst of redefining itself under Zucker. CNN executive VP and managing editor Mark Whitaker announced his decision to leave the network this morning.
Zucker’s memo to CNN staff after the jump.