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Margaret Brennan named host of CBS’ ‘Face the Nation’

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Margaret Brennan will succeed John Dickerson as the moderator of “Face The Nation,” CBS announced on Thursday.

“Face the Nation” is one of the highest-rated Washington discussion programs on television. And one of the longest-running: It was started in 1954.

There was considerable speculation about who would take over when Dickerson moved to New York last month to co-host “CBS This Morning.”

Brennan is currently the White House and senior foreign affairs correspondent for CBS News. She will give up the White House beat but will retain the foreign affairs beat.

Brennan will begin hosting “Face” this Sunday.

Thursday’s announcement was well-received among the press corps, with many colleagues and rivals praising her reporting chops and curiosity.

Jake Tapper, who hosts CNN’s “State of the Union,” tweeted to her, “Congrats and welcome to Sunday morning!”

NBC’s chief White House correspondent Hallie Jackson tweeted, “We will miss you in the briefing room front row — but what a well-deserved promotion.”

In college, Brennan interned at CNN. Later, she became a producer for CNBC, then a correspondent for CNBC and an anchor for Bloomberg Television. Her first beat at CBS was the State Department.

“Margaret’s coverage of the White House and the world make her the ideal moderator for this legendary CBS News franchise at this moment in time,” CBS News president David Rhodes said in a statement.

Statement from CBS:

CBS News has named Margaret Brennan moderator of FACE THE NATION, it was announced today by David Rhodes, President of CBS News. Brennan will assume the permanent role on Sunday, Feb. 25, and will continue in her position as senior foreign affairs correspondent based in Washington, D.C.

Brennan has reported on politics, international affairs and global markets since 2002. She joined CBS News in 2012 and has been White House and senior foreign affairs correspondent since 2017, working with Vice President and Washington Bureau Chief Christopher Isham.

“FACE THE NATION is one of the longest-running traditions in television,” said Rhodes. “Margaret’s coverage of the White House and the world make her the ideal moderator for this legendary CBS News franchise at this moment in time.”

“Margaret’s ability to ask newsmakers tough but fair questions in a deft and respectful manner, her sharp news instincts, and her tremendous ability to make complicated subjects understandable make her the perfect person to lead us into the next chapter of the broadcast,” said Mary Hager, Executive Producer of FACE THE NATION. “The entire FACE THE NATION team is thrilled she’s taking over the anchor spot.”

“Both domestically and globally, news is breaking at an unrelenting pace,” said Brennan. “FACE THE NATION has long been the place that viewers across the country rely on to make sense of it all by cutting through the noise to break down what matters and how it affects our daily lives. I am deeply honored and excited to carry on FACE THE NATION’s tradition of helping provide this crucial context to our viewers.”

Since 2012, Brennan has been based in Washington and has reported on the Trump administration, and previously President Obama’s administration, for all CBS News programs. Previously, Brennan covered the State Department for four years, where she reported on major national security stories including nuclear negotiations with Iran; restoration of diplomatic ties with Cuba; the standoff with North Korea; the conflict in Ukraine; and the accord to transfer control of Syria’s chemical weapons.

Prior to joining CBS News, Brennan spent a decade covering the global financial markets. Brennan anchored and reported for Bloomberg Television globally. Previously, she was a correspondent at CNBC with a focus on the consumer during the financial crisis. She also contributed to various NBC News programs. Brennan began her career as a producer for CNBC’s “Wall $treet Week with Louis Rukeyser.”

Brennan is a term member at the Council on Foreign Relations and sits on the advisory board for the University of Virginia School of Politics.

Brennan graduated with highest distinction from the University of Virginia in 2002, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in foreign affairs and Middle East studies with a minor in Arabic. As a Fulbright-Hays Scholar, she studied Arabic at Yarmouk University in Irbid, Jordan. She is also the recipient of an honorary doctor of letters degree from Niagara University. Brennan, a Connecticut native, is based in D.C.

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