Major Garrett to leave Fox News

Ben Smith has the official press release:

FOX News’ Chief White House correspondent Major Garrett announced today that he will leave the network effective September 3rd to return to his roots in print journalism. White House correspondents Wendell Goler and Mike Emanuel will assume joint coverage of the beat.

In making the announcement, Garrett said, “Slightly more than eight years ago, [FOX News Chairman & CEO] Roger Ailes, [former FOX News Executive Vice President] John Moody and [former FOX News Washington Managing Editor and current Senior Political Analyst] Brit Hume created a full-time reporting position for me in the Washington bureau. Our new Senior Vice President of News, Michael Clemente, has continued that support. Since August of 2002, the network and its top executives have given me every opportunity a journalist could hope for. I thank the network for giving me the chance to grow as a reporter and broadcaster.”

He continued, “Throughout my television career, I’ve known with certainty I would someday return to my roots in print journalism. That day has come. I will soon announce an exciting new phase of my career — one made possible in no small part by FOX News’ consistent support. It would take a lot – something near perfection – to lure me away from the best job I’ve ever had. Details to come.”

Garrett further remarked, “I will miss many dear FOX News journalists, colleagues and friends. I wish all of them success. I look forward to discussing my future work on FOX News – keeping in touch with an audience I’ve come to know and cherish. Before I leave FOX News, I would like to say a heartfelt thank you to each and every viewer who extended to me their generous good wishes, support and encouragement.”

Michael Clemente, Senior Vice President of News Editorial for FOX News added, “There are reporters and then there are truly tenacious reporters who come along every so often. Major Garrett is a fact-finding machine, and wherever he goes he will continue to serve an audience that is thirsting for genuine reporting and balance. We wish him the best as he turns this page.”

One of the highlights of my career as a blogger was meeting Major Garrett at a Hillary Clinton rally back in May 2008. He was a total class act, speaking to a lot of different Clinton supporters, and he thought it was funny that I was at the rally ‘incognito.’ ;)

The good thing is he isn’t leaving journalism altogether. The question at this point is what print journalism outfit he will hang his hat. He’ll definitely be missed as part of the Fox News team, but I wish him all the best.

Update – 12:38 PM: The NYT’s Media Decoder blog reports that Garrett is going to be working for the National Journal as a Congresional correspondent.

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