The White House Correspondents Association has spoken, and Fox News Channel has beaten out NPR and Bloomberg for a seat in the front row in the White House press room which opened up upon the exit of long-time correspondent Helen Thomas.
Thomas, who last worked for UPI, had the front center seat. FNC doesn’t get that one, but it does move into the seat being abandoned by the Associated Press, which was awarded the prime front and center location.
NPR will move up from the third row into FNC’s old second row seat.
Explaining its decision, WHCA wrote, “The board of the White House Correspondents Association has agreed, by consensus, to move the Associated Press to the front row, center seat in the James S. Brady Briefing Room. The board further agreed to move Fox News to the front row seat previously occupied by AP, and relocate NPR into the second row seat previously held by Fox, next to Bloomberg News. It was a very difficult decision. The board received requests from Bloomberg and NPR in addition to Fox for relocation to the front row and felt all three made compelling cases. But the board ultimately was persuaded by Fox’s length of service and commitment to the White House television pool.”
WHCA continued, “The board also made a series of adjustments to the larger seating chart, including the addition of a new seat for the foreign press pool. These deliberations mark the third time in four years the board has tackled this issue, and we urge members to view seating room changes as an ongoing process that will be revisited again as our industry evolves. The changes are effective Monday, August 2. In addition, the board member from NPR abstained from debate of seating assignments for the first two rows.”
Current WHCA officers include President David Jackson, USA TODAY; Vice President Caren Bohan, Reuters; Secretary Steve Scully, C-SPAN; and Treasurer Doug Mills, New York Times.
Board members include Carol Lee, Politico; Michael Scherer, Time Magazine; Julie Mason, DC Examiner; Don Gonyea, NPR; and Ed Henry, CNN.
RBR-TVBR observation: Somewhere in America, Milwaukee Brewers play-by-play broadcaster and former Miller Lite commercial star Bob Uecker is smiling.