Norah O'Donnell To CBS News: Chief White House Correspondent, 'Face The Nation' Substitute

Longtime NBC News anchor and reporter Norah O'Donnell has left to become the chief White House correspondent for CBS News, Politico's Mike Allen reported on Thursday.
O'Donnell will also become the primary substitute anchor for Bob Schieffer on "Face The Nation," CBS' Sunday morning talk show. The current White House reporter, Chip Reid, will become a national correspondent.

All in all, the move represents a major step up for O'Donnell. She had been with NBC News since 1999, serving in a variety of roles, including White House correspondent, and was one of the most visible and consistent faces on MSNBC for many years.

“Norah’s experience on Washington’s top beats—at the White House, on Capitol Hill, and at the Pentagon—will make her a great addition to our growing Washington bureau,” CBS News president David Rhodes said in a statement.

HuffPost's Michael Calderone obtained this internal memo from CBS President David Rhodes to staff on the changes in Washington:

Norah O'Donnell will be joining us as Chief White House Correspondent. Norah comes to us from NBC News and will be on board in the Washington bureau in July.

Norah’s experience on Washington’s top beats—at the White House, on Capitol Hill, and at the Pentagon—will make her a great addition to our growing Washington team as we approach an election year.

In addition to her duties at the White House, Norah will be the principal substitute on Face the Nation—filling in for Bob Schieffer on occasions when Bob is out.

As you may know, Norah has been the Chief Washington Correspondent for MSNBC, a contributing correspondent for NBC’s "TODAY” and “Weekend TODAY,” a panelist on “The Chris Matthews Show” and a co-anchor of the 9 a.m. hour of “TODAY.”

Chip Reid has done a terrific job at the White House and will become National Correspondent, based in Washington, with greater editorial range. Chip’s piece which led the Evening News on Monday from North Carolina is an example of the kind of reporting we’re sure he can do on a more regular basis outside the White House bubble—he’s excited to get on with that work.

Bill Plante is an institution at CBS News and within the White House itself; his experience will continue to add context to our daily reporting on the Administration. And of course Mark Knoller remains the sage of the CBS News White House team—and he has the tweets to prove it.

Looking ahead to election coverage, we anticipate that Norah will take the lead on the Democrats’ campaign while Jan Crawford will take the lead on the Republicans. Jan will be focused on Republican primary politics now, but will be with the eventual standard-bearer through Election Day.

Going into these races, Nancy Cordes will have the Congressional picture from Capitol Hill and will be on top of key races for the House and Senate.

Soon we will have announcements rounding out the management of the political coverage and its coordination with Chris Isham and the entire Washington bureau.

Please join me and Jeff Fager in welcoming Norah O’Donnell to CBS News.