Longtime CNN political anchor Candy Crowley is leaving the network, insiders familiar with the situation confirmed to The Wrap.
In a memo obtained by TheWrap, network president Jeff Zucker announced the news.
December 5, 2014
In her 27 years at CNN, Candy Crowley has been one of the most important and impactful journalists on our air. Since she joined us in 1987, her assignments have taken her to all 50 states, covering a broad range of political stories, including presidential, congressional and gubernatorial races. Candy made her mark covering the presidential campaigns of Pat Buchanan, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Howard Dean, Bob Dole, Jesse Jackson, Edward Kennedy, John Kerry, Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan and Mitt Romney. And as we all remember, she made her mark yet again in 2012 when she became the first woman to moderate a presidential debate in 20 years.
To say she lives and breathes politics is more than an understatement. She has an innate ability to sense its nuance, push its limits, and ask questions that others won’t. She is beloved in Washington even by those that she so skillfully takes to task on Sunday mornings. And she’s an award-winning journalist – taking home everything from a Peabody and Emmys to an Edward R. Murrow award. She is a television news icon.
Thus, it is with mixed emotions, that I wanted to let you know that Candy has let us know that she has made the decision to move on, so she can embark on the next chapter of her already prolific career. As difficult as it is for us to imagine CNN without Candy, we know that she comes to this decision thoughtfully, and she has our full support. There will be more time in the weeks ahead for all of you who have been lucky enough to work with Candy to share your own thanks for all she has done. But for now, on behalf of everyone at CNN, I want to extend my sincere gratitude and appreciation.
CNN confirms to TheWrap Crowley will still host “State of the Union” this coming Sunday, where she’ll interview former President George W. Bush.
No word on who will replace Crowley as host of Sunday’s “State of the Union,” airing at 9am ET. Top contenders would be CNN anchor Jake Tapper, who was brought over from ABC and is one of CNN’s top political anchors, former “State of the Union” anchor John King, who now hosts “Inside Politics” at 8:30amET right before “SOTU,” or someone under the radar.
Let’s not forget, former “Meet the Press” moderator David Gregory has been linked to CNN, and might be an ideal fit for Zucker, knowing each other from their respective NBC News days.
Another dark horse: Katie Couric, who has been serving as Yahoo News’ Global Anchor, but insiders tell TheWrap is “itching to get back on TV.”
The Sunday morning political shows are a vital ratings opportunity for broadcast networks like ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox, who air “This Week,” “Face the Nation,” “Meet the Press,” and “Fox News Sunday” respectively.
It has never been a big ratings hit on cable news, so Zucker might have that in mind when choosing Crowley’s replacement.
Crowley had a long career at CNN, reporting and then anchoring in close to three decades. A bright spot for Crowley happened in 2012, when she became the first female to moderate a presidential debate in more than 20 years.