CNN Defends Hiring Former GOP Operative Sarah Isgur as Political Editor

CNN is standing by its decision to hire a former Department of Justice spokesperson and political operative with no journalistic experience to help lead its 2020 political coverage. On Tuesday, Politico first reported that Sarah Isgur was joining the network as a politics editor, sparking fierce backlash from many who said she was unqualified and not suited for the job. In a note to the network’s politics team Wednesday, several top politics editors said that although they were upset that the news leaked out before it could be announced internally, the company was “thrilled” that Isgur was joining next month, saying she “brings a wealth of government, political, communications, and legal experience to our team.” The note, signed by Washington Bureau Chief Sam Feist, Newsgathering Vice President Virginia Mosley, and Political Director David Chalian, clarified Isgur’s new role, saying she would spend the first few months “getting to know our systems and our people,” and eventually would “play a coordinating role in our daily political coverage—helping to organize and communicate between newsgathering, digital, and television.” “With more than two dozen candidates to cover, constant coordination is needed more than ever,” it said. —Maxwell Tani