FIRST ON TKNN: CNN has quietly promoted Jeff Zeleny to Senior Washington Correspondent. It is a return to the position for Zeleny who took on this role when he joined CNN in 2015 but later became CNN’s Senior White House Correspondent.
The change came in mid-late January as Zeleny started to be identified on-air as Senior Washington Correspondent, his online bio was updated on January (according to an analysis of the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine), and over the past weekend Zeleny updated his Twitter bio to say that he was now Senior Washington Correspondent for the worldwide news organization. As a result, Zeleny wrote that he will be covering the Trump Administration and the 2020 presidential candidates. A look at Zeleny’s recent pieces for CNN show a heavy focus on the Democratic candidates, including a piece about how candidates are quickly apologizing for past stances that would now be deemed problematic.
The move certainly makes sense for Zeleny and CNN. CNN has a large White House team (it is large enough to have dedicated weekend reporters and a correspondent focusing primarily on First Lady Melania Trump) and there is a large and growing field of Democratic contenders who will need correspondents to follow them along. CNN does have other Washington correspondents– Joe Johns is the other Senior Washington correspondent, Ryan Nobles is a Washington correspondent, and Jake Tapper is Chief Washington Correspondent.
Neither Zeleny nor CNN responded to a request for comment on promotion.