Roberts: Going Rogue

From CNN’s “voice of God” to FNC’s “voice of Everyman”? Mediate.com reported today that CNN correspondent and recent American Morning co-anchor John Roberts is expected to jump ship to Fox News. Approximately, three weeks ago, CNN chief Ken Jautz stated that Roberts would be leaving AM and that CNN was “discussing an Atlanta-based reporting role for him.” However, exactly ten days ago, when Roberts bid AM adieu, he proclaimed that he was going to Atlanta (to be with his gravid fiancee, CNN Newsroom anchor Kyra Phillips) but he did not confirm that he would be working at CNN.

In fact, in retrospect, Roberts seems to have deftly avoided making that assertion to his American Morning audience in his final appearance on the program on Christmas Day. As AM ended (and before it segued to CNN Newsroom), AM guest co-host Carol Costello announced, “The American Morning show has to bid John Roberts adieu because we will miss you. You’re going on to bigger and better things in Atlanta.”* Without elaborating on her comment, Roberts ambiguously answered, “Well, I’m going on to a lot of things in Atlanta.” Immediately thereafter, steering the conversation strictly to family (vis-a-vis work), he continued, “Yes, my sweetheart is going to have twins in March. And, I don’t think I’d be long for this world if I didn’t go down to Atlanta to join her for that blessed occasion.”

Subsequently, when Roberts tossed to his fiancee, Kyra Phillips, the CNN Newsroom anchor kept the subject of Roberts’ departure to Atlanta restricted to its implications for their family. Smiling, Phillips commented, “Carol, you know I can’t do this all on my own”: Carressing her babies’ bump, she added, “Let me tell you, these little guys are kicking right there. They’re like ‘Where’s Dad? Where’s Dad? We want him here!'” Staying on message, John interjected, “Dad is coming down to Atlanta to be with Kyra and our new family which will be arriving very soon.”

Seemingly, not quite satisfied with John’s farewell to the AM audience, Costello appeared to try to reassure the viewers herself. To Roberts, she remarked, “You’ll still be working for CNN as well [and will] be covering really big stories for us and doing special reports and really fascinating stuff like that.” Without committing himself, John simply stated, “I’m looking forward to being down there. But, this, this, this lady [Phillips] right here is the one that is, is the main focus.”

At least, as to Roberts’ CNN colloquy with Costello.

Update 1: According to the Huffington Post, FNC “officially announced” that Roberts would depart CNN to become an FNC senior national correspondent, citing FNC veep Michael Clemente who stated that FNC was “excited to welcome John to FOX News.”

Update 2: TVNewser reported that Roberts made the move to FNC because of Roberts’ regard for Roger Ailes as a “brilliant broadcaster and consummately loyal boss” and the opportunity to “play for a winning team.” [Keenly, TVNewser noted that “loyalty is a particularly sensitive issue for Roberts referring to Roberts’ recent axing from American Morning by new CNN chief Ken Jautz and to his being “passed over” by CBS in 2006 for Dan Rather’s CBS Evening News anchor seat in favor of Katie Couric.]

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2 Responses to “Roberts: Going Rogue”

  1. In Depth: The CNN – John Roberts Debacle… « Inside Cable News Says:

    […] Could Roberts have been playing coy on his last day? Carpe Diem recounts the final minutes of Roberts final appearance on American Morning and correctly notes that the […]

  2. ANNE AND GEORGE Says:

    we s a family will miss you on cnn

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