Kelly ODonnell Named NBC News Senior White House Correspondent; Geoff Bennett Announces Exit
NBC News announced a series of promotions and changes to their White House team on Friday, with Kelly O’ Donnell named senior White House correspondent.
“You’d be hard pressed to find any journalist currently on the beat with more experience, having covered Presidents W. Bush, Obama, Trump, and now Biden,” Ken Strickland, NBC News senior vice president and Washington bureau chief, and Stacey Klein, director of NBC News’ White House unit, wrote in a memo to staff.
Elyse Perlmutter-Gumbiner was promoted to White House Coordinating Producer, tasked with planning and scheduling, coordinating large projects, and overseeing domestic presidential travel.
Meanwhile, White House correspondent Geoff Bennett said that he is leaving his post, but he will be sticking around as a contributor. He has not yet announced his next career move.
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Bennett also has been a fill-in anchor in the 2 PM hour on MSNBC. Bennett previously covered the White House for NPR and covered Capitol Hill and national politics for NY1 News and Time Warner cable outlets.
“I look forward to soon sharing where you can find me next. For now, my deepest thanks to my NBC colleagues and to you!” Bennett wrote on Twitter.
The memo from Strickland and Klein is below:
As our White House team begins its coverage of the president’s second overseas trip, we’re delighted to announce a few exciting and well-deserved promotions within the unit.
First, Kelly O’Donnell has been named Senior White House Correspondent. You’d be hard pressed to find any journalist currently on the beat with more experience, having covered Presidents W. Bush, Obama, Trump, and now Biden. Her reporting, of course, also extends from Capitol Hill and every corner of Washington to the campaign trail covering seven presidential election cycles, including the campaigns of Bob Dole, John Kerry, John McCain, and Hillary Clinton. And, let’s not forget her stand-out, on-the-ground coverage of the contested 2000 election and Florida recount. All of that, combined with her more than 25-year career covering everything from the War in Iraq, 9/11, and more, give “Kelly O” an extra level of context, history, and depth that she brings to all of her storytelling and reporting. (Plus, she’ll be representing NBC News as president of the White House Correspondents’ Association in 2023-2024.)
Elyse Perlmutter-Gumbiner has been promoted to White House Coordinating Producer. In this role, Elyse will expand her duties to include working on team planning and scheduling, coordinating large projects, and overseeing domestic presidential travel. In her last four years as a White House producer, Elyse’s excellent editorial, production, and logistics skills have benefited not only the bureau, but all of our News Group partners. She has led the U.S. TV pool’s editorial coverage on major news days including Donald Trump’s first G20 visit in Argentina – even trouble shooting LiveUs on her own – the day the Mueller Report was released, and President Biden’s first foreign trip to the G7, NATO and a Summit with Putin, among others. When the White House news cycle is fast and furious, Elyse has become known for her steadfastness and for always being a calming presence in the most high-pressure situations. Having been with the network for 10 years, Elyse started as a desk assistant, then sharpened those skills as Team Costello’s researcher, and served as a MSNBC field and coordination producer during the 2016 election.
Please join us in congratulating both Kelly and Elyse.
Ken and Stacey
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