CNN not renewing Eliana Johnson's contract after she departs Politico for conservative Free Beacon

CNN not renewing Eliana Johnson's contract after she departs Politico for conservative Free Beacon
© MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

Eliana Johnson, a White House reporter for Politico who will be leaving the publication to serve as editor-in-chief for the conservative Washington Free Beacon, will not have her contract renewed at CNN, where she was a political analyst, as first reported by BuzzFeed

“CNN has a right to tap or drop contributors at any point,” Johnson responded on Thursday. “None of us is entitled to a contract renewal.”

CNN spokesman Matt Dornic later took exception to BuzzFeed's framing of Johnson's contract not being renewed in a Wednesday night tweet.

"This framing is misleading. Eliana is still a CNN contributor & will remain one through November," tweeted Dornic. "We signed her because, as you put it, 'she was a top White House reporter' who was 'breaking significant news.' 

She’s now pursuing a different career path and off that beat," he added. "Simple as that."

Johnson, who was at the conservative National Review before Politico, will be responsible for the Free Beacon's staff of 24 and will take over for Matthew Continetti at the end of September.

“I want to build on the excellent work the Beacon has done and continue to train serious reporters who have a conservative outlook and an irreverent sensibility,” Johnson told BuzzFeed. 

The Free Beacon launched in 2012 and is privately held by a group of investors that includes prominent Republican donor Paul Singer, a billionaire hedge fund manager.