CBS White House correspondent, Canadian native John Roberts jumps to CNN

Veteran CBS White House correspondent and Canadian native John Roberts, snubbed by his network during the long search for Dan Rather’s successor, has jumped to CNN.
As a senior national correspondent based in Washington, Roberts will report for various CNN newscasts throughout the day, said Jon Klein, president of CNN/U.S., on Wednesday. He starts on Feb. 20.
Roberts, 49, who was born in Toronto and worked for CTV's Canada A.M., has been CBS News’ chief White House correspondent for six years, and anchored the Sunday edition of the CBS Evening News for more than 10 years.
He was widely considered the top internal choice to succeed Dan Rather, who stepped down as evening news anchor last March. But as the months went on without CBS announcing a successor, and with patron CBS News president Andrew Heyward being forced out of his job, it became clear Roberts wasn’t a favourite of CBS chief executive Leslie Moonves.
As Bob Schieffer has filled in on the evening news _ boosting the show’s ratings _ CBS has courted NBC Today show host Katie Couric to become the new anchor. Couric’s NBC contract expires in May.
New CBS News president Sean McManus said last month that even if Couric doesn’t join CBS, the new evening news anchor wasn’t likely to come from within the network’s ranks. He indicated that CBS didn’t have a stable of high-profile talent ready to take over the job.
Roberts joined CBS in 1992 and was a news anchor for CBS This Morning. He was also a New York-based correspondent for the evening news before heading to Washington.
Prior to joining CBS, he had been co-anchor of Canada AM, CTV’s top-rated morning news program from 1990 to 1992) and an anchor/correspondent at WCIX-TV (now WFOR-TV), the CBS owned station in Miami from 1989 to 1990.
Roberts, who attended the University of Toronto, also served as an anchor and correspondent for Citytv in Toronto from 1979 to 1989.
Roberts was CBS’ most high-profile correspondent on the scene covering hurricane Katrina last year. He made his last appearance for the network during Tuesday’s coverage of U.S. President George W. Bush’s State of the Union address.
«Leaving CBS News will be difficult _ no question,» Roberts said in an e-mail to CBS colleagues Wednesday. «The ache of anxious anticipation has been gnawing away at me for some time now. It’s not just the thought of leaving behind the comfort of familiar surroundings. It’s about the many colleagues around the world whom I have come to call friends.»

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