CNN President Jeff Zucker is reportedly caught off guard with Kurtz's decision to leave the company for rival news channel, where Kurtz will anchor a new weekend program.
Howard Kurtz is leaving CNN, where he has hosted "Reliable Sources" since 1988. The veteran reporter, who recently came under fire for making an incorrect statement about NBA player Jason Collins following his public announcement that he's gay, will head to Fox News.
"I'm excited to be bringing my independent brand of media criticism to Fox News," Kurtz says in a statement released on Thursday afternoon, June 20. "I want to thank CNN for giving me such a prime opportunity over the years and was tempted to continue, but the chance to create a revamped program and establish a strong online presence was too good to pass up."
He adds, "I hope to add a new dimension to Fox's coverage and have some fun while diving into the passionate debates about the press and politics."
Fox News also states, "Fox News Channel (FNC) has hired veteran media reporter Howard Kurtz, announced Michael Clemente, Executive Vice President of News for the network. He will begin in this new role on July 1st."
Kurtz will anchor a new version of what is now called "Fox News Watch". He additionally will serve as an on-air analyst for a variety of programs throughout the week, while also writing a regular column on FoxNews.com. Jon Scott, current anchor of "Fox News Watch", will move to the specials unit where he will serve as anchor.
Words are, Kurtz's decision to leave CNN caught the company's president Jeff Zucker off guard. According to Business Insider's sources, CNN had offered Kurtz a new contract although some of the network's executives were not interested to renew his contract to host "Reliable Sources".
In an official statement to address his departure, CNN says, "Howie Kurtz has served as host of 'Reliable Sources' for 15 years, developing it into a leading source for commentary and critique on the media. We thank him for all his contributions to CNN, and wish him all the best in this new opportunity."