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CNN faced backlash last month after hiring Sarah Isgur, a Republican former spokesperson for then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, to serve as a network political editor, a role in which she would have helped coordinate political coverage.
The network’s editorial management defended the hire, which was first reported by Politico, in a memo the next day, saying that the network was “thrilled” to hire someone who “brings a wealth of government, political, communications, and legal experience to our team.”
But, under pressure from the Democratic National Committee and other stakeholders, the network soon made clear that Isgur would not be involved with coverage of the 2020 elections, seemingly limiting her role at the network.
On Friday, Isgur announced that she will instead join CNN as a political analyst, the on-air role traditionally held by former partisans.
“It’s been a great vacation but I am back on twitter!” she wrote. “And news: I will go to CNN as a Political Analyst instead. Will start next month on air and on line. See y’all soon!”
A CNN spokesperson confirmed the change and said that it was Isgur’s idea. “We can confirm that when Sarah came to us and proposed her role be adjusted to a political analyst instead, we agreed and we look forward to her starting in that role,” the spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter.
CNN president Jeff Zucker had defended the hire on a Feb. 22 editorial call and asked staffers to keep an open mind. “Let’s not rush to judgement,” he said, according to the network’s Reliable Sources newsletter. “Let’s give everyone a chance.”
As a political analyst, Isgur will join the network’s deep bench of former politicians and political strategists of all ideological stripes.
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