Veteran newsman John Roberts, who was a long time correspondent for CBS and most recently co-anchor for the CNN show American Morning, will soon be moving to cable leader FOX News. The network announced the acquisition on Monday. According to Michael Clemente, Senior Vice President for Fox News Editorial, Roberts will join the network as the senior national correspondent. “We are excited to welcome John to FOX News — his reputation as a skilled journalist with years of notable experience in the field will be a valuable addition to our news programming,” Clemente said in statement issued Monday.
As a former reporter, I am empathetic to any journalist who faces their next big opportunity. One can only imagine what it must be like to go from “The Most Trusted Name In News” to “Fair and Balanced”. In John Roberts’ case, he’s been part of a morning show that has struggled in viewership for the last two years. Chemistry between Roberts and co-anchor Kiran Chetry was never that great and is clear in every broadcast. Finally, what only fortifies the show’s troubles, are the alleged struggles between talent and other staff behind the scenes.
I see Roberts’ move as a good one. He’s always been regarded as an objective and responsible journalist, and while he may receive some criticism for going to a network which is regularly labeled a biased one, he might be just the right ingredient FOX News needs. As a career move, I think it’s what Roberts has been quietly waiting for. You can’t blame the guy for going to a network which absolutely dominates the 24 hour news cycle. Here’s something else to consider. In his CBS days (14 years), Roberts was largely considered to be Dan Rather’s replacement, that is, before the big shake up as a result of Rather’s report on George W. Bush’s military record in which documents supporting certain claims could not be authenticated.
I try to watch as much news as I can from a variety of sources. If there is any reason now to watch FOX News, it’s that John Roberts will be a part of it.