Josh Elliott has been fired as lead anchor for CBSN after reportedly shocking executives with a surprise on-air announcement.
Elliott was a former “Good Morning America” host and lead CBS’s digital network, CBSN, since spring 2016, according to The Hollywood Reporter. On the Feb. 10 edition of his show, he announced that it was his “last day” hosting the show. He was allegedly leaving his role at CBSN for a larger position at CBS News.
But executives say they were completely clueless about Elliott’s planned departure from CBSN and were shocked to hear his announcement.
“This is a mess of epic proportions,” a source close to the network told Page Six. “Nobody at the top at CBS News knew that Josh was going to do that.”
Allegedly, Elliott met with Laurie Orlando, CBS’s head of talent, who told him that she wanted him to take on a larger position within the network. Sources close to Elliott claim that his executive producer and Orlando failed to alert network higher-ups that he was leaving.
“It has been by any measure a great stay here at CBSN,” Elliott said on his final show.
His parting message reportedly led to a torrent of internal emails, with executives trying to figure out exactly what happened. A source says Elliott was finally called to an early morning meeting Feb. 13 with CBS News President David Rhodes, and was fired. Rhodes then allegedly sent out an email to the entire news division, saying that Elliott would no longer be working with the network, effective immediately.
“[Elliott] was escorted out of the building by security,” a source told Page Six. “Meanwhile, Laurie Orlando, who seems to be responsible for much of this mess, is missing. Nobody has seen her. This is a mystifying situation.”
CBS News has released a statement confirming Elliott will no longer have a role within the network.
“CBS News and Josh Elliott are parting ways. Josh will no longer be reporting for CBS News. We are grateful for his contributions over the last year, and we wish him the very best in his future endeavors,” read the statement.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Elliott still had a year left on his contract with CBS.
Sources: The Hollywood Reporter, Page Six / Photo credit: CBS News