In addition to his correspondent duties, Tapper, 43, had served as substitute host on ABC’s “This Week.” Eyebrows were raised in 2011 when Christiane Amanpour left the weekly program and ABC execs handed the hosting reigns to George Stephanopoulos, rather than Tapper. 

In a statement, CNN executive vice president Ken Jautz said, “Jake is an exceptional reporter and communicator, and we look forward to developing a program that takes advantage of all of his strengths, his passion and his knowledge of national issues and events.”

Astute ITK readers may have seen the jump from ABC coming. After winning the Merriman Smith Award for Broadcast Excellence in Presidential Coverage for the third year in a row back in April, Tapper revealed to us he had special ringtones for callers who buzz him on his cell phone. “‘The Imperial March’ [Darth Vader’s theme] plays when my bosses from New York call,” he laughed.

Tapper’s new CNN program is poised to debut in 2013.