CNN White House correspondent John Harwood is out at the network as its parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery, overhauls its composition and lineup.
Harwood announced his departure Friday on Twitter. In a brief message, Harwood said he was proud of his work and thanked his colleagues. He added that he “look[s] forward to figuring out what’s next.”
today's my last day at CNN
proud of the work
thanks to my colleagues
i've been lucky to serve the best in American media – St. Petersburg Times, WSJ, NYT, the NBC family, CNN
look forward to figuring out what's next
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) September 2, 2022
Harwood’s departure comes weeks after former CNN “Reliable Sources” host Brian Stelter recorded his last show and exited the network. Stelter’s exit reportedly came at the behest of CNN chief Chris Licht, who took over the network in February after Jeff Zucker’s exit. Licht has reportedly been driving CNN toward adopting a more nonpartisan stance in its news coverage.
Harwood joined CNN in January 2020 after a stint at CNBC. In his previously role as editor-at-large for CNBC, where he played a central role in the outlet’s election coverage.
Harwood’s professionalism and partisanship came under fire after he moderated a Republican primary debate in 2015 for CNBC. Harwood’s performance reportedly left the newsroom split on whether it was a good look for the network.
“Everyone in the newsroom knows he’s extremely far Left,” a network insider told TheWrap at the time. Knowledge of Harwood’s political leanings was well-known within the network before the debate, the insider said.
Harwood is “not just extremely biased and partisan, but he’s the worst kind who isn’t self-aware that he is,” the insider said. “Blindness to that is what allowed him on the debate stage.”
Harwood’s conduct during the debate played a major role in the Republican National Committee’s decision afterward to suspend its debate agreement with NBC News.
“While debates are meant to include tough questions and contrast candidates’ visions and policies for the future of America, CNBC’s moderators engaged in a series of ‘gotcha’ questions, petty and mean-spirited in tone, and designed to embarrass our candidates,” then-RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said at the time.
After the debate, leaked emails revealed that Harwood had reached out to the Clinton campaign about what he should ask Republican primary contenders. “What should I ask Jeb?” Harwood asked then-Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta in a September 2015 email.