Jake Tapper, the famously scrappy ABC News senior White House correspondent, is leaving the network for CNN, where he will anchor a new weekday news program beginning early next year.
A person familiar with the situation told TheWrap that Tapper had his eye on permanently hosting ABC's "This Week," where he filled in for George Stephanopoulos. But Stephanopoulos has expressed no plans to leave, and with no anchor position open, Tapper departed for CNN.
Tapper is CNN's first big hire since the news that former NBC Universal chief Jeff Zucker would take over leadership of the cable network. Tapper will be a Washington, D.C., anchor and correspondent for CNN.
“With CNN’s impeccable reporting during the elections and the exciting changes in the works for the network, this is a perfect time to join the CNN team,” said Tapper. “I am excited about the prospect of working with both the new leadership and some old friends and colleagues.”
Soon after Tapper's exit was announced, ABC announced Martha Raddatz would be given an expanded role as its chief global-affairs correspondent and that Jonathan Karl will become the network's new chief White House correspondent.
Raddatz will replace Tapper as the primary substitute for Stephanopoulos on "This Week" and will contribute regularly to the Sunday morning show's roundtable. Karl also will serve as a substitute and regularly appear on the roundtable.
Tapper was named ABC News' senior White House correspondent immediately after serving as the network's lead political reporter during the 2008 election. He has proven himself one of the most aggressive members of the White House press pool.
His detailed, relentless grillings of White House spokespersons is often the most entertaining part of press briefings.
Watch Tapper do his thing:
Tapper has contributed to “Good Morning America,” “Nightline” and “World News Tonight With Diane Sawyer,” in addition to serving as substitute host of “This Week” and publishing to his “Political Punch” blog on ABCNews.com.
Prior to joining ABC News, Tapper served as Washington correspondent and then national correspondent, for Salon.com. He also appeared on CNN in 2001, co-hosting the politics and pop culture show “Take 5.”
He is also the author of three books, including current New York Times bestseller "The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor."