The Huffington Post reported last week that staffers expected Yellin -- most recently the network’s national political correspondent -- to get the high-profile job. Washington bureau chief Sam Feist confirmed that rumor today in an announcement to staff.
“Jessica Yellin has emerged as one of the leading political reporters in Washington,” Feist said in a statement. “Jessica’s assertiveness along with her clever insight made her one of the top reporters of the 2008 campaign and has already set her apart in her reporting on the 2012 campaign. We’re thrilled Jessica will now bring her outstanding political journalism to our White House coverage.”
Yellin, who joined CNN in 2007 as a Capitol Hill correspondent, called the White House job a “dream assignment.”
“I’m honored CNN is putting its faith in me and humbled by the responsibility of covering the White House during these challenging times -- and as we head into an election,” Yellin said. “I look forward to providing our viewers an honest assessment of the policies and the politics that affect our lives everyday.”
Yellin’s no stranger to covering the White House, having worked as a correspondent for ABC News prior to joining the cable news network. However, Yellin wasn’t in the senior position back then. She starts that role for CNN immediately.
The front row in the White House briefing room will look quite different in the next few weeks, as Yellin takes CNN’s chair, Henry moves to Fox News’ seat, and NBC's Norah O’Donnell replaces Chip Reid as CBS News’ chief White House correspondent.