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I Guess You Can Only Twist So Long...

By RD Heldenfels Published: February 1, 2006

It was about a year ago that CBS announced that Bob Schieffer would temporarily replace Dan Rather while the network figured out its master plan for a new anchor. That put John Roberts, thought to be on the short list of Rather's successors, in limbo. Now, with nothing changed, he's getting out, according to this announcement from CNN.

John Roberts, a veteran broadcaster and award-winning journalist, will join CNN as senior national correspondent, it was announced today by Jon Klein, president of CNN/U.S.  Roberts’ new assignment with the cable news network will begin Monday, Feb. 20. ...   Roberts joins CNN after more than six years as CBS News’ chief White House correspondent.  He has also served as anchor for the Sunday edition of CBS Evening News since March 1995 and substitute anchor for Face the Nation.  Prior to 1995, Roberts was a New York-based correspondent primarily for the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather contributing reports on medical and health issues as well as on a variety of other subjects.   In addition, he served as anchor of the Saturday edition of CBS Evening News from February 1999 until his assignment with the White House unit.  (end excerpt from announcement)

To put that job change in context, consider this from the Washington Post's report on the Schieffer appointment:

The prolonged period of speculation about who will take over the evening news has been a frustrating one for John Roberts, CBS's White House correspondent and Rather's principal substitute, who has long been viewed by outsiders as the heir apparent. Unlike NBC, which announced 2 1/2 years ago that Brian Williams would succeed Tom Brokaw at the end of 2004, CBS never firmed up a succession plan. Some of Roberts's friends say that he has been unfairly diminished by the discussion about seeking multiple anchors and that he would consider leaving the network if he is passed over entirely.

Roberts said he stopped thinking about the matter some time ago, is concentrating on his job and expects CBS to do what is best for the network.

And now Roberts is apparently doing what is best for him.

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