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In Cable News War, Fox Nabs Van Susteren

January 03, 2002|ELIZABETH JENSEN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Heating up the competitive prime-time news channel battle, legal analyst Greta Van Susteren, one of CNN's most recognizable names and the anchor of its prime-time show, "The Point," is jumping to rival Fox News Channel.

Sometime in the next three months, Van Susteren will anchor a live weeknight show, replacing a program that until three months ago was anchored by Paula Zahn, who in September left Fox for CNN.

Van Susteren's contract is up soon, and CNN sources said the network made her a counter-offer to stay on, with CNN News Group Chairman Walter Isaacson one of her biggest supporters. Kate Snow will step in for the moment as anchor of "The Point," which has been CNN's second-highest rated prime-time program. Van Susteren had also co-anchored CNN's daytime "Burden of Proof" before that show was canceled in December.

Separately, CNN said it has hired Fredricka Whitfield, an Atlanta-based NBC News correspondent, as a weekend anchor.

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