In a bizarre twist to his career, Josh Elliot was fired from CBS News just days after he announced his new position at the network. On Friday, Elliot announced on CBSN, the news organization’s streaming network, that it was his last day with the streaming network and he was now moving to CBS News for an expanded role. The announcement caught executives by surprise who had not planned for the announcement to go public yet.
The news of Elliot’s dismissal was first reported by the New York Post.
CBS News confirmed Elliot’s departure in a statement, but provided few details aside from that, “CBS News and Josh Elliott are parting ways. Josh will no longer be reporting for CBS News. We are grateful for his contributions over the last year, and we wish him the very best in his future endeavors.”
Elliot had served as lead anchor for CBSN since March of 2016 and signed off on the network with a highlight reel typically used for anchor farewells. He thanked the viewers and staff and announced the move.
The Post’s reporting indicates Elliot’s firing was a save-face for the executives caught off guard. Elliot had discussed the move with head of talent Laurie Orlando and his message was on the teleprompter after his executive producer told him to bring it up on-air. Going rogue this was not. However, the higher-ups on the chain of command were unaware of this development and caught blindsided when they watched Elliot make the announcement. CBS News President David Rhodes was said to be angry at this and called Elliot in on Monday to fire him. Security then escorted Elliot out of the building.
On Friday, a CBS News spokesperson said of Elliot, “Josh is going to be taking field assignments and reporting long form pieces as well. He will appear across CBS News programs, including CBSN.”
Elliot has now worked for, and departed, all three of the major American broadcast networks. He got his big break at ESPN, hosting SportsCenter for several years. Elliot was then moved to sister channel ABC as part of the team that brought Good Morning America to first place. Disagreements over pay led him to leave that network and join NBC where he contributed mainly to their sports coverage. He then departed NBC for lack of visibility and joined CBSN. Even though he was released from his NBC contract, the network is still paying him.