CNN expands Moscow bureau due to many Russia-related stories

CNN is bolstering its Moscow bureau as a result of the nonstop Russia-related news, the network said in a press release.

CNN senior international correspondent Fred Pleitgen is relocating from London to Moscow, where he will be joined by senior international correspondent Matthew Chance, who was already based in the bureau.

The network announced the hiring of Nathan Hodge, who is joining the network from The Wall Street Journal to take on the role of Moscow bureau chief.

Hodge was The Wall Street Journal’s Moscow bureau chief from 2015 to date, leading the WSJ’s coverage of the Ukraine crisis, Russia’s intervention in Syria, and the ongoing confrontation between Washington and Moscow.

Deborah Rayner, SVP of International Newsgathering, TV & Digital, for CNN said: “It’s hard to overstate the importance of Russia internationally, whether that pertains to its own upcoming elections, its alleged role in the recent US elections, or issues relating to Ukraine, Europe, China, Iran, and Syria. Vladimir Putin is a uniquely compelling figure, and his agenda at home and abroad is fascinating for audiences worldwide. No one is better placed to tell those stories than Matthew and Fred, and we could not wish for a better person to head up our Moscow operation than Nathan.”

Hodge added: “The fact that CNN is doubling down on its commitment to Russia was a big factor in me taking on this role. I know Fred personally from working alongside him in Syria, and I have followed Matthew’s career for a long time; both are exceptional journalists, and the whole team at the Moscow bureau is formidable. This is a crucial year for Russia, and the passion I have seen for the story at CNN makes me very excited about what’s ahead.”

A Tale of Two World Cups

Last year, CNN went all-out for the 2014 Men’s World Cup in Brazil. According to the release from then, CNN Sports anchors Alex Thomas, Amanda Davies, and Lara Baldesarra (who has since left CNN); and correspondents Shasta Darlington and Fred Pleitgen.

Not included in the press release but present included New Day anchor Chris Cuomo and international correspondent Isa Soares.

So, a pretty big showing for CNN… in another continent.

Yet this year, when the women’s World Cup is in our continent–Canada!–CNN has sent no on-air talent to report from the scene. None of CNN’s sports correspondents, and certainly not Chris Cuomo.

I get that, because it’s a woman’s event, it will receive less coverage. Yet the network not sending a single reporter or anchor to cover it is simply inexcusable.

This year, CNN has seen the departure of one sports correspondent (Baldesarra), yet has added on two: Coy Wire and Kate Riley. So although they’re beefing up their sports unit, they still didn’t send anyone to cover the World Cup.

Big mistake, CNN.

Atika Shubert relocates to Berlin

CNN correspondent Atika Shubert will be making the move from CNN’s London bureau to Berlin, where she will serve as its new correspondent, according to an insider.

In December 2014, it was reported that then-Berlin correspondent Fred Pleitgen had been promoted to senior international correspondent and was relocating to London.