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Jay Carney joins CNN
04:44 - Source: CNN

Story highlights

Former Obama spokesman debuts on CNN for President's ISIS speech

Carney served in the Obama administration since shortly after he was inaugurated

Before joining the White House, Carney was bureau chief for Time magazine

Washington CNN  — 

Jay Carney, who stepped down as White House press secretary in June, is stepping back into the political fray as a commentator for CNN.

Carney will make his first appearance on the news network Wednesday night during CNN’s coverage of President Barack Obama’s prime time address about the extremist group ISIS.

“I’m thrilled to be joining CNN at a time when there is so much happening in the nation and the world,” Carney said in a statement.

Carney is intimately familiar with the media world, having worked at Time magazine for 20 years, three of those as Washington bureau chief. He moved from media to government shortly after Obama’s election. Carney was Vice President Joe Biden’s communications director in 2009 and 2010, and then became Obama’s press secretary in early 2011.

Along with television appearances, Carney will regularly contribute to CNN’s politics website, which is being revamped this fall.

Jay Carney give last White House briefing

Sam Feist, CNN’s Washington bureau chief, announced Carney’s hiring on Wednesday.

“Jay’s unique experience as both a journalist and a White House press secretary make him an invaluable voice for the network as we cover the final two years of the Obama administration and look ahead to the coming campaigns,” Feist said in a statement. “We’re fortunate to have Jay on our air tonight to provide analysis and insight surrounding the President’s address to the nation.”

Carney was rumored to be in talks with television networks over the summer. CNN and other networks pay high-profile political types such as Carney with the expectation that the exclusive appearances and “insider” commentary will attract viewers and attention.

Carney’s press secretary predecessor, Robert Gibbs, is also affiliated with a cable news channel: Two years after stepping down from the podium, he joined MSNBC as a paid contributor.

Several press secretaries under President George W. Bush also signed up with television networks afterward: Ari Fleischer and Tony Snow were contributors to CNN at different times, and Dana Perino is now a co-host of the Fox News program “The Five.”