Jake Tapper to Get 4 P.M. Slot on CNN
UPDATED: Federico Quadrani, who has worked as an ep on Chuck Todd's MSNBC show "The Daily Rundown," will be Tapper's executive producer.
CNN confirmed that Jake Tapper’s weekday program will air at 4 p.m. beginning in March and that the show also has tapped Federico Quadrani as executive producer. He joins CNN from MSNBC where he was executive producer of weekend programming and also Chuck Todd’s The Daily Rundown. He’s currently the exec producer of anchor Chris Jansing’s weekday morning program Jansing & Company.
“Federico’s talent for story development and live production will be a perfect fit for Jake’s new program,” Sam Feist, CNN Washington bureau chief and senior vp, said in a statement. “Federico’s track record with both network news programs and Washington-based cable news programs make him a terrific addition to CNN as we enter into an exciting time for the network.”
Quadrani also worked as a producer at NBC's Today. And prior to NBC News, he was a writer for ABC's Good Morning America.
Said Tapper: "I’m thrilled to have Federico join me in leading our new team. In recent years he’s produced incisive political coverage, but his diverse news background is equally important. From his Peabody Award-winning live coverage of 9/11 in the ABC News control room through his days producing textured taped pieces and remarkable live shots at NBC’s Today, Federico has built a reputation for finding great American stories and creating compelling content. His voice will help us build the informative, engaging and provocative program we want this to be.”
Slotting Tapper's show - which will be titled The Lead with Jake Tapper - at 4 p.m. means that Wolf Blitzer's The Situation Room now will start an hour later at 5 p.m. Tapper made his debut as CNN’s chief White House correspondent in January after leaving ABC News late last year. He had been courted by CNN for years. But his departure from ABC News came just weeks before new CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker was set to officially assume the reins at CNN. And the promise of hosting his own show was a selling point for Tapper, who had twice been passed over to succeed George Stephanopoulos as anchor of Sunday public affairs program This Week.
Tapper hosted his first CNN documentary Feb. 7; An American Hero: The Uncommon Valor of Clint Romesha was based on Tapper's Afghanistan War book The Outpost: An Untold Story About American Valor. The well-received tome recounts the horrific battle on Oct. 3, 2009, at Compound Outpost Keating – 14 miles from the Pakistan border – during which 53 American soldiers including Army Staff Sgt. Clint Romesha were set upon by 400 Taliban fighters; eight Americans were killed, making it the deadliest battle of 2009. Four months later, a Pentagon review concluded that there was no reason for the troops to have been manning Keating in the first place. Tapper wrote extensively about Romesha in his book. On Monday, Romesha received the Medal of Honor, becoming only the fourth living recipient from the Afghanistan War.