UPDATE, 2:15 PM: When ABC News put out word this morning that Nightline anchor Bill Weir was leaving ABC News for “another opportunity in the news business,” The Reporters Who Cover Television began preparing their “Weir Heads To CNN” reports, figuring there was a high likelihood he would follow colleagues Jake Tapper, Chris Cuomo and John Berman to the cable news network. The development bore the signs of another Amy Entelis strike. Entelis, a 30-year ABC News vet who left as VP Talent and Strategy, and who in January 2012 was named to the newly created position of SVP Talent and Content Development at CNN Worldwide, had been given credit for the hires of the aforementioned ABC News staffers. When, several hours later, CNN made the announcement it had in fact hired Weir as an anchor — without naming any program — as well as Chief Innovation Correspondent, some of those reporters began to pick up Mediaite’s report, citing an unnamed source, that Weir had been promised all, or half, of Piers Morgan’s CNN time slot some time many months from now. CNN issued a statement “Bill Weir was not brought to CNN to replace Piers Morgan.” That seemed to put a lid on it, though some media reports continued to mull Morgan’s future at the network.
“At a time when CNN is expanding the definition of news, the former anchor of ABC News’ Nightline will work with producers to develop original programming across the schedule,” CNN had explained in its Weir announcement. “Bill’s range, sensibility and curiosity set him apart,” chimed in CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker. “He brings a unique storytelling style, perspective and sense of humor to CNN, and he will be a key player as we continue to expand our lineup.”
PREVIOUS, 12:40 PM: Weir worked at ABC News since 2004 and helped launch GMA’s weekend edition before moving to Nightline in 2010. ABC News chief Ben Sherwood announced this morning Weir was leaving the operation for “another opportunity in the news business” and would be replaced on Nightline by Dan Harris, effective immediately.
Weir joins the list that also includes Jake Tapper, Chris Cuomo and John Berman. In May 2012, CNN hired Berman, ABC News correspondent and GMA contributor; he now co-anchors CNN’s 4-6 AM show Early Start. In January 2013, ABC’s White House Correspondent Jake Tapper joined CNN and 20/20 co-anchor Chris Cuomo left ABC News to join CNN later that month. Both men were given show to anchor at CNN. Cuomo, who’d previously co-anchored GMA, got passed over to co-host when the gig went to George Stephanopoulos, was named co-host of New Day; Tapper, who’d been passed over for ABC’s Sunday Beltway show when Stephanopoulos left, and again when he returned to that program, hosts The Lead with Jake Tapper.
“Bill’s style is singular; his voice unique; and we will miss him and, yes, his turkey frying safety tips,” ABC News chief Ben Sherwood said in a memo to his staffers this morning to announce Dan Harris was replacing Weir.