CNN executives searched far and wide for a new Washington bureau chief only to find one right back in the bureau. On Tuesday, CNN promoted network veteran Sam Feist to the top job.
Feist, who's well-known in the world of D.C. political media, brings ample television experience to the job, which serves as a powerful perch in Washington journalism. As political director and vice president of Washington-based programming, Feist oversaw shows such as “The Situation Room,” “John King, USA” and “State of the Union.” Over two decades, he's produced numerous election night broadcasts and worked on past CNN political shows like “Crossfire,” “The Capital Gang” and “Evans & Novak.”
CNN/U.S. chief Ken Jautz announced the hire to staff in a memo below:
TO: CNN Staff
FROM: Ken Jautz
DATE: May 17, 2011
As many of you know, [CNN Worldwide managing editor Mark Whitaker] and I have led an extensive search for the right person to lead the Washington bureau over the last several weeks. We have met with many impressive candidates, and we are pleased that the most viable candidate has come from within CNN. Today, I am announcing that Sam Feist will be taking the position of senior vice president and Washington, D.C. bureau chief.
Sam has a unique combination of skills that will allow him to not only lead the bureau, but to strengthen it and build on the successes of the last election. As many of you know, Sam has been our political director for the past five years, has extensive political and government contacts, and has produced or helped produce much of the key DC programming in recent years. He has also served for nearly 20 years in the CNN bureau in a variety of roles.
Sam is deeply committed to maintaining the highest standards of journalism and ensuring the credibility of the CNN brand. Moreover, he brings tireless enthusiasm and unrivaled passion for politics to this position.
Please join me in congratulating Sam as he takes on his new role. Below is the press release going out momentarily.
In addition to taking the Washington bureau chief job previously held by David Bohrman, Feist will also take the title of senior vice president.
“I couldn't be more excited to take on this new role and build on the great journalism and the tremendous expertise of the CNN Washington bureau,” Feist said in a statement. “It is not only one of the largest news bureaus in the world, it is undoubtedly one of the finest. Leading this outstanding team at a time of dynamic change in our industry is invigorating and humbling.”