James Carville, Mary Matalin leaving CNN
3356By DYLAN BYERS | 1/29/13 11:16 AM EST
CNN contributors and political power couple James Carville and Mary Matalin are leaving the network, Carville told POLITICO today.
The decision was CNN's, Carville said: "I was told that they wanted the contributors to be more available -- essentially, closer to Washington. I'm not always available, I don't live there."
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Carville and Matalin, his wife, live in New Orleans, La. Matalin did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but Carville said both respected the network's decision and enjoyed their time as contributors there.
"I'm completely cool with it," he said.
News of Carville and Matalin's departure first surfaced in a report from FishbowlDC, which also noted that conservative contributor Erick Erickson would be moving to Fox News, which POLITICO has confirmed.
The departures come amid major changes at CNN under new president Jeff Zucker. Earlier today, the network announced the hire of Chris Cuomo from ABC News. Meanwhile, EVP and managing editor Mark Whitaker announced his departure in an email to staff this morning.
Carville and Matalin were both co-hosts of Crossfire, the CNN program that ran until 2005. They have both been contributors since.
Carville said he would now turn his attention to the campaigns he was working on, including some foreign campaigns he was eyeing in Asia. He also said he looks forward to writing another book, and will maintain his role as a contributor on ABC News.
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"I've got enough acts, I'm not out soliciting other TV gigs," he said. "At some level it makes sense for CNN to move in another direction, and it makes sense for me."
UPDATE (12:48 p.m.): Matalin emails from New Orleans:
Just saw your piece. In a whirling dervish of the best Super Bowl/Mardi Gras ever! Agree with everything James said. You didn't ask, so I am not sending my current projects. I loved my time in and out at CNN and more, the many lifelong friendships made there. Hope you can make Jazz Fest this year. Laissez la bon temp roulet.http://www.politico.com/blogs/media/2013/01/james-carville-mary-matalin-leaving-cnn-155516.html