Tapper ’91 may host ABC’s ‘This Week’

By Katie Gonzalez , The Dartmouth Staff | 12/12/09 2:15pm



Courtesy Of Abc News

The rumor mill is swirling.

ABC News White House cor­re­spon­dent Jake Tap­per ’91 is on the short­list to suc­ceed George Stephanopou­los as host of ABC’s “This Week” po­lit­i­cal talk show, ac­cord­ing to the As­so­ci­ated Press. Stephanopou­los was tapped to host “Good Morn­ing Amer­ica” after Diane Sawyer was picked to re­place Charles Gib­son on “World News.”

Tap­per, who has filled in for Stephanopou­los on “This Week” on mul­ti­ple oc­ca­sions, could not be reached for com­ment. Stephanopou­los will con­tinue an­chor­ing “This Week” until his re­place­ment is named.

Terry Moran, co-an­chor of ABC’s “Night­line,” is also a top con­tender for the spot on “This Week.” ABC News Pres­i­dent David Westin said that there is no im­me­di­ate timetable for the an­nounce­ment of Stephanopou­los’ suc­ces­sor, ac­cord­ing to the As­so­ci­ated Press.

“From what we’re hear­ing, it sounds like Terry Moran would be the fa­vorite,” Steve Krakauer, tele­vi­sion ed­i­tor for Me­di­aite, a news and opin­ion blog that cov­ers the media in­dus­try, said in an in­ter­view with The Dart­mouth. “‘Night­line’ has three an­chors on it, so it sounds like they might not need a re­place­ment [for Moran]. It would be a good fi­nan­cial de­ci­sion.”

Tap­per’s young age and rel­a­tive in­ex­pe­ri­ence cov­er­ing hard news would make him a more sur­pris­ing choice as Stephanopou­los’ suc­ces­sor, Krakauer said. Tap­per, who has served as White House cor­re­spon­dent since Nov. 5, 2008, is con­sid­ered a po­ten­tial can­di­date due to his rep­u­ta­tion for un­bi­ased re­port­ing, Krakauer said.

“Jake is largely viewed by left and right as a fair and ob­jec­tive jour­nal­ist,” he said. “As much as Stephanopou­los worked to keep­ing ob­jec­tiv­ity, he couldn’t es­cape the fact the fact he worked in the Clin­ton White House. Jake Tap­per has done a great job of re­ally being ob­jec­tive. Dur­ing the first year of the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion, he’s a name that stands out as being fair to both sides.”

In host­ing “This Week,” Tap­per would be­come more es­tab­lished among po­lit­i­cal cir­cles in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., thus en­hanc­ing his ca­reer, ac­cord­ing to Krakauer.

“He’d have one of the most high-pro­file jobs in net­work news,” Krakauer said. “[An­chor­ing ‘This Week’] is very much an in­side-Wash­ing­ton type role. It’s hard news, and for some­one like Jake Tap­per who is young and still try­ing to get es­tab­lished, it would help him do just that.”

Gwen Ifill, mod­er­a­tor of PBS’ “Wash­ing­ton Week” and se­nior cor­re­spon­dent for “The New­sHour with Jim Lehrer,” is also a con­tender for Stephanopou­los’ po­si­tion, ac­cord­ing to Krakauer.

ABC News ex­ec­u­tives will likely post­pone an­nounc­ing the host of “This Week” to early Jan­u­ary so that they do not steer any at­ten­tion away from Sawyer’s new role as ABC’s “World News” an­chor, Krakauer said. Sawyer will re­place Gib­son on “World News” start­ing Dec. 21.

Katie Gonzalez , The Dartmouth Staff