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Isham Named CBS D.C. Bureau Chief

Jul 11, 2007  •  Post A Comment

A long search for CBS News’ Washington, D.C., bureau chief has ended with the hiring of Chris Isham. He is the well-regarded, award-winning chief of investigative projects for the ABC News unit that produces for all ABC News programs, including chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross.
There was no immediate comment from CBS News. Sources familiar with the situation said Mr. Isham, feeling this was a great opportunity to take the next management step, will leave ABC in another week or so but probably won’t take up his new post until at least the end of the summer.
He will succeed Janet Leissner, who has run the D.C. bureau since 1998 and who started her career at CBS in 1984 as a producer for “The CBS Evening News.”
The move will reunite Mr. Isham with former ABC News colleagues including “Evening News” executive producer Rick Kaplan and Paul Friedman, the CBS News senior VP who conducted the search for the bureau chief.
Ms. Leissner has known for some time that she would be replaced. Many had thought the prime candidate for the job was former “60 Minutes” producer Rome Hartman, who was the founding executive producer of “The CBS Evening News With Katie Couric” until he was replaced in March by Mr. Kaplan. However, Mr. Hartman signed on with the BBC to create and executive produce a nightly newscast aimed at American audiences for BBC America and BBC Worldwide.
Mr. Isham had been with ABC News since 1978 and ran a “World News Tonight” investigative unit for much of the 1990s under late anchor Peter Jennings. After 9/11 that unit, which is considered a robust one with bench strength, was combined under Mr. Isham with Mr. Ross’s team to serve other shows. It was made a stand-alone unit in early 2005.
The ABC investigative unit created “The Blotter” on ABCNews.com, where Mr. Ross broke the story about former Rep. Mark Foley’s scandalous behavior with House interns.
(Editor: Horowitz)

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