The recruitment effort continues at CNN under network boss Jeff Zucker. “This time, they’ve managed to coax veteran investigative reporter Eric Lichtblau from his perch at the New York Times,” The Washington Post reports. “Lichtblau will serve as assistant managing editor at CNN’s Washington bureau.”
The report quotes a memo from Lex Haris, executive editor of the CNN Investigates unit, that says: “Eric will guide our coverage and thinking on both short-term scoops and long-term projects. The goal: To make news on the most important story lines out of D.C. He will work with the reporters on the CNN Investigates team and coordinate with other teams in the Washington bureau. And when he’s onto a investigation, he’ll still be reporting and writing too.”
The Post adds: “The move fortifies the CNN Investigates team, whose formation was announced shortly after the inauguration of President Trump. ‘Seek truth. Break news. Hold the powerful accountable’ — those were identified as the group’s guiding principles. The idea was to lump together investigative reporters already working at CNN — including Drew Griffin, Patricia DiCarlo and the so-called K-File team (Andrew Kaczynski, Kyle Blaine, Chris Massie and Nate McDermott) that fled BuzzFeed in the late stages of the 2016 presidential campaign for CNN — with new hires to create a team of 25-plus reporters and producers.”
The report notes that CNN denied in a press release that the unit was formed in response to Trump’s election victory.
In the release the network says: “These plans were in the works long before we knew the outcome of the election, and the need for strong investigative journalism exists no matter who is residing in the White House.”
However, The Post reports: “The hiring of Lichtblau reflects some geostrategic thinking on the part of CNN’s top editorial folks. That’s because he has been at the forefront of the New York Times’s reporting on the relationship between the Trump presidential campaign and Russia.”