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Josh Elliott Leaves CBS News After Sign-Off Controversy

Josh Elliott landed at CBS News with an interesting road before him – anchoring a new streaming-video outlet that provided a running newsfeed  for info junkies. Today, CBS showed him a different path: through the door.

Elliott and CBS News are parting ways, according to  a spokeswoman for the CBS Corp. unit, just days after the news outlet indicated the former “Good Morning America” staffer was being groomed for bigger things.

At the root of the separation, according to two people familiar with the situation, was a sign-off by Elliott late last week during his CBSN broadcast. He told viewers he was leaving the broadband outlet to take up new duties reporting for other CBS News properties. And indeed, CBS News confirmed that move in the hours after Elliott made his announcement.

The trouble? Elliott’s maneuver appears not to have been coordinated with CBS News executives.

Elliott had met recently with Laurie Orlando, the senior vice president overseeing talent at CBS News, the people familiar with the matter said. At that meeting, the prospect of new responsibilities is believed to have been raised. But no one expected Elliott to disclose them publicly, one of these people said.

“CBS News and Josh Elliott are parting ways. Josh will no longer be reporting for CBS News,” the unit said in a prepared statement. “We are grateful for his contributions over the last year, and we wish him the very best in his future endeavors.”

Elliott landed at CBSN in March of last year, after parting ways with NBC Sports in a contract dispute. He had gained traction at CBS, filling in on “CBS This Morning” and contributing elsewhere among the news division’s properties. His hire was taken as a signal that CBS wanted to gain notice for CBSN – a bid by CBS Corp. to gain 24/7 traction for CBS News without the millions of dollars required to set up the infrastructure for a more traditional media presence, like a cable outlet. ““CBSN is the future of news,” said David Rhodes, CBS News’ president, in a prepared statement that accompanied news of Elliott’s hire.

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