CNN confirms media critic Howard Kurtz to leave Reliable Sources and the channel after 15 years
CNN has confirmed that Howard Kurtz will soon leave the media criticism show he has hosted for 15 years, Reliable Sources, amid a report on Mediaite.com that the longtime journalist is headed for a job at rival Fox News. He's expected to host the channel's media analysis show, Fox News Watch.
Kurtz, who is perhaps the best-known media critic in America, is expected to host the CNN show for the next two Sundays, according to the channel. After his departure, a succession of guest hosts will fill in, according to a statement from CNN.
Kurtz landed in controversy in May after mistakenly accusing NBA player Jason Collins of failing to mention he was once engaged to a woman in an essay for Sports Illustrated announcing his homosexuality. One day after the mistaken column and video were published, the Daily Beast and Kurtz announced they were severing ties, ending his tenure as Washington bureau chief for the site and Newsweek; Kurtz insisted the departure was not directly connected to his mistake.
Though Kurtz made the mistake on the Daily Beast website and in a video recorded for the Daily Download site, CNN had the critic discuss the issue for 15 minutes on Reliable Sources, apologizing for the error and facing questions from two other critics.
Media reporters asked then how long Kurtz might stay at the channel, especially given how quickly new worldwide president Jeff Zucker was moving to reinvent other parts of the operation (CNN’s new morning show New Day, debuted on Monday, for instance).
Now it seems, the answer has surfaced, at least in part. (Full disclosure: I have appeared on Reliable Sources many times over the years as a guest and have contributed columns to the Daily Download site.)
Here’s CNN’s statement: “Howie Kurtz has served as host of Reliable Sources for 15 years, developing it into a leading source for commentary and critique on the media. We thank him for all his contributions to CNN, and wish him all the best in this new opportunity. Reliable Sources will continue on CNN, and will be hosted by a variety of people in the coming months.”