Media Critic Howard Kurtz Jumps Fox

'Reliable Sources' to continue on the Turner cable network without its longtime host

Veteran media-industry reporter Howard Kurtz is leaving “Reliable Sources,”  the CNN media-criticism program he has hosted since 1998, for a new roost at Fox News Channel.

The 21st Century Fox-owned cabler said Thursday that Kurtz would soon host a version of a long-running weekend program called “Fox News Watch,” which will soon sport a new format. Additionally, Kurtz will provide analysis for other Fox News programs throughout the week, and write a column for FoxNews.com, the network said in a statement.

Kurtz will continue to host “Reliable Sources,” for the next two weeks, a CNN spokeswoman said. After that, the show is expected to continue  with a variety of hosts over the next several months.

A prolific writer and veteran of the media beat, Kurtz has generated controversy in recent weeks. While employed recently at The Daily Beast and Newsweek, he wrote a piece critical of a Sports Illustrated profile in which NBA player Jason Collins came out as gay. As it turns out, Kurtz had missed several details in the story and criticized the athlete over elements that were not accurate. Kurtz himself said, in a self-examination on “Reliable Sources,” that the mistakes were “sloppy” and “inexcusable.” He left his post at The Daily Beast and Newsweek soon after the errors were disclosed.

Despite the mistake, Kurtz’s time on the beat and broad exposure — he worked for The Washington Post for many years while hosting the media show on CNN — can’t be denied. “Howie is the most accomplished media reporter in the country,” said  Michael Clemente,  exec veep of news for Fox News Channel, in a prepared statement. “He’s also a master of social media trends, information good and bad, and a veteran political reporter. Altogether, he will add even greater depth to a very accomplished team of reporters and anchors.”

Kurtz will start in his role July 1, Fox News said.

The Kurtz hire comes just days after Fox News Channel said former U.S. vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin would rejoin the network as a contributor.

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