CNN’s Dana Bash was named Chief Political Correspondent at the cable news network. Bash was previously Chief Congressional Correspondent and covered the Republican candidates in the current and past presidential cycles. The announcement was made by CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker and then an announcement was also made internally by Washington bureau chief Sam Feist and deputy bureau chief Virginia Moseley.
Candy Crowley was the previous Chief Political Correspondent before she left the network last year. Bash has spoken about how Crowley was a mentor to her and delivered an on-air farewell to the former State of the Union anchor before she left.
Bash will continue covering Congress for the network. She will also be continuing with her 2016 assignment of covering Republican hopefuls. Her 2016 assignment has been expanded though. The memo from Feist and Moseley says that Bash will be a “prominent player in CNN’s Election Night coverage.” For CNN’s Republican presidential debate next month, Bash will pose questions to the hopefuls, joining CNN’s Jake Tapper and radio host Hugh Hewitt.
Part of the reason that Bash may be continuing with the Congress beat is that CNN has left very little room for any other beat. CNN has two Senior Washington Correspondents (Joe Johns and Jeff Zeleny) and a Chief Washington Correspondent (Jake Tapper). In addition, CNN has a Chief National Correspondent (John King). While most of CNN’s national correspondents are general reporters, King still deals almost exclusively with politics and frequently travels the nation for political coverage. The Washington Correspondents tend to stay in the capital for coverage, although there are exceptions. Zeleny was recently in Iowa for coverage of the Iowa State Fair.
For Crowley, this was not a problem in the last few years as she was busy anchoring State of the Union. However, the Sunday affairs program is now being anchored by the Tapper. Bash does contribute heavily to SOTU and is the primary substitute anchor.
Read the memo:
We have some great news.
This morning, Jeff announced that our friend and colleague Dana Bash has been named CNN’s Chief Political Correspondent, serving as the network’s lead correspondent covering the Republican field of 2016 presidential hopefuls, our lead correspondent covering Capitol Hill, and as a prominent player in CNN’s election night coverage. Today we are also announcing that Dana will be participating in the questioning of Republican candidates at CNN’s Reagan Library debate next month.
Of all off the announcements we have made over the years, we cannot think of one that gives us greater pride to share.
Dana is one of the best examples of a true CNN success story. Her career is an extraordinary example of how hard work and great news instincts can take you almost anywhere in journalism.
Dana started as a Library Assistant here in the DC bureau in 1993. She became an associate producer and then producer of the weekend shows Evans & Novak and Late Edition. She moved to newsgathering as an assignment editor and then a Capitol Hill Producer. Leveraging the sources she developed on the Hill, Dana became a Congressional Correspondent, a White House Correspondent, and later our Chief Congressional Correspondent.
And you have all seen the remarkable work Dana has done on the campaign trail starting in 2008 and continuing into the 2016 campaign. From her role as our lead correspondent on the McCain campaign to her current role leading CNN’s coverage of the largest field of candidates to ever run for president, Dana’s reporting has given our viewers a front row seat to history.
Over the last 20 years, there are few people at CNN who have worked harder or done more for this news organization than Dana Bash. She is tireless, fearless, and 100 percent committed to outstanding journalism. But more important, she is one of our greatest colleagues – beloved by everyone from the field crews to the show producers.
And we can think of no person better qualified to be CNN’s Chief Political Correspondent.
Please join us in congratulating Dana on this important assignment.