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CNN vet in Afghanistan shifts to Fox

Harrigan switches allegiance within week

With news nets scrambling to position themselves to cover the war on terrorism, Fox News Channel has poached veteran CNN correspondent Steve Harrigan, who has been based in northern Afghanistan.

Harrigan informed CNN on Saturday that he was switching allegiances and by Sunday, he was reporting via a satellite videophone from Afghanistan for Fox News. Unlike CNN, Fox News does not yet have a satellite video uplink in Afghanistan. Until the Harrigan hire, Fox News had no presence in Afghanistan.

CNN dispatched Matthew Chance from its London bureau to take Harrigan’s place, alongside Christopher Burns in northern Afghanistan. In addition, the net has a reporter inside Taliban-controlled territory. NBC News/MSNBC, ABC News and CBS News all have correspondents in Northern Afghanistan.

Harrigan, who had been working without a contract since May, was in discussions with CNN about renewing his contract when the terrorist attacks occurred on Sept. 11. Sources say Harrigan, a 10-year CNN veteran, approached NBC News, but the Peacock passed as it already had three reporters in Afghanistan.

In early September, Fox News fired anchor Paula Zahn after learning she was in discussions with CNN about joining the news net. Since the terrorist attacks, Zahn has become one of the net’s main anchors.

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