Kaylee Hartung Leaving ESPN for CNN


Kaylee Hartung is leaving ESPN for CNN, a highly placed source with knowledge of the information tells The Big Lead. Unauthorized to speak publicly on the matter, the source requested anonymity.

Hartung has been a rising star at ESPN the past few years, covering college football and college basketball as a sideline reporter. Prior to joining ESPN in late 2012, Hartung spent five years with CBS News in Washington DC, reporting for their web site. She also worked as an assistant for Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer, and as an associate producer on the show.

At CNN, where Hartung is expected to begin in April, she will contribute news reporting and features as a national correspondent based in Atlanta. At the outset, she will not contribute to Turner Sports. However, given her time at ESPN, it would not be surprising if she eventually resumes sports reporting. CNN president Jeff Zucker made it known in the recruitment process that he was a fan of Hartung’s work.

In the past year or so, the general media and political climate has led many readers and viewers to migrate from sports to news. This is reflected in everything from NFL ratings to interest in sports studio shows to web traffic. The tide does not appear to be stemming anytime soon. Consequently, you can expect to see a trend of more sports media talents either heading all the way into news, or combining news and sports coverage.

An ESPN spokesperson declined to comment. We have reached out to CNN for comment and did not immediately hear back. [UPDATE 1:50 ET – A CNN spokesperson declined to comment for the story.]