Among CNN's announced D.C. staff changes was the news that it was naming Chris Lawrence, general assignment correspondent, as "a Pentagon correspondent."
Turns out he will be "the" Pentagon correspondent with the news Friday that longtime correspondent Jamie McIntyre will be exiting after 16 years in that job—he succeeded Wolf Blitzer—after he and the network could not agree on a way forward. He said he would remain for "a little while" to tie up some lose ends and finish some projects.
McIntyre broke the news to the staff in an e-mail appropriately entitled "breaking news," which is reprinted below.
“Although I was never bored, CNN and I both agreed it was time for a change,” he said Friday. “We were unable to reach an agreement on another assignment, so after a friendly discussion, I decided to pursue other opportunities. “
A CNN spokesman pointed out that McIntyre had reported on “some of the most important stories of our time,” saying he would be missed and that CNN wished him the best.
"After 16 years of covering the U.S. military for CNN, the time has come for me to leave the beat.
Although I was never bored, CNN and I both agreed it was time for a change.
We were unable to reach an agreement on another assignment, so after a friendly discussion, I decided to pursue other opportunities.
I leave with no regrets, and nothing but pride for the things we accomplished, and admiration for the people I worked with over the years.
I began at CNN in 1988, as a weekend freelance reporter, so my association with the network spans 20 years.
Before replacing Wolf Blitzer at the Pentagon in 1992, I had hardly traveled outside the Washington area. Since then I have circumnavigated the globe more than once and visited more than 60 countries.
It has been a special honor to cover the men and women of the U.S. military, and see, close up, the dedication and sacrifice they make to defend the nation.
If I start mentioning names I will leave too many people out, but I have to express special gratitude to three CNNers in particular:
Tom Johnson, who was a rock of journalistic integrity in every confrontation with the Pentagon, the late Bill Headline, who hired me and stuck by me when many questioned why the weekend feature reporter was being assigned to the Pentagon, and my editor Sheila Kanzler, who was with me from day one and never missed air, even when I gave her a script with less than 10 minutes to turn it into television.
I’ll be around for a little while longer to tie up loose ends, and wrap up some projects.
Life is all about timing, and this just seems like the right time to see what else is out there.
I hear there’s a ton of money to be made in stand-up comedy.”
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