Former WRAL-TV Reporter Axelrod Promoted at CBS

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Former WRAL-TV Reporter Axelrod Promoted at CBS
Jim Axelrod Named Chief White House Correspondent

Jim Axelrod
Former WRAL-TV Reporter
Jim Axelrod
was recently promoted to CBS News
Chief White House

On February 6, 2006, a former WRAL-TV reporter began the job of a lifetime. CBS named Jim Axelrod its new Chief White House Correspondent.

A political reporter and substitute anchor for WRAL-TV from 1993 to 1996, Axelrod had worked as a CBS News correspondent since leaving Raleigh. A few of his latest achievements at CBS include covering 2004 presidential campaign and covering the Iraq War as an embedded reporter.

“I have never seen a reporter as intensely driven as Jim,” said Sean McManus, President, CBS News & CBS Sports. “That aggressiveness will serve him and CBS News very well on the White House beat, one of the most crucial and competitive for any news organization. I can’t wait to turn him loose.”

Axelrod is an award-winning journalist who now has a front row seat to report on some of the most important events in our country.

Mark Roberts, Jim Axelrod & David Crabtree
Jim Axelrod (center) clowns around with old friends Mark Roberts (left) & David Crabtree at a visit to WRAL-TV in 2004.

“Jim and I are represented by the same agent,” said WRAL-TV Anchor David Crabtree of his good friend. “I’ll never forget the day she called me in 1994…Jim and I had only worked together for six months but it was already evident how truly gifted this young man was. My agent, Carol Leff said, ‘Jim Axelrod has sent a tape… tell me about him.’ Without hesitation I answered, ‘He has no idea how good he is.’  The rest is history…”

Axelrod has a long list of accolades in his decade at CBS. Although based in New York at the time of his promotion, he has also been assigned to CBS bureaus in Dallas and Miami. He provides regular reports for the CBS Evening News and other CBS broadcasts like The Early Show and Sunday Morning.

During Campaign ’04 Axelrod covered candidates on the road, including John Kerry and John Edwards. According to CBS, “He also was the lead reporter for a campaign-long series called, ‘Our Town,’ which examined the election process through the lives of a group of citizens living in Allentown, Pa., and the Lehigh Valley.”

And his experiences in Iraq, CBS said, “Axelrod was one of CBS News’ embedded correspondents and was the first television journalist to report live from Saddam International Airport in Baghdad immediately after its takeover by the U.S.  Additionally, his live report of the U.S. Army firing artillery rounds into Iraqi positions was the first from an American television reporter embedded with ground troops engaged in combat.  Axelrod has also covered the invasion of Afghanistan, the war and refugee crisis in the Balkans and the hostage crisis in Peru, among other stories.” 

Axelrod and his family will be relocating to Washington.

“He will witness history truly because he will be one of only four (since each of the big four networks has only one Chief White House Correspondent),” said WRAL-TV Director/Producer Clarence Williams. “It’s very life-changing experience, the epitome of one who goes into broadcast journalism, like being an anchor for one of the big four.”

Axelrod is fondly remembered and admired by those with whom he worked with at WRAL-TV.

“Jim is one of my closest friends and confidants,” said Crabtree. “He’s one of the most talented people in the business. He’s seen more of the world and talked with more world leaders than most of us can imagine. He’s won numerous national awards and now as a true front row seat to history traveling anywhere the President travels…anytime. Even so…he’s never lost his sense of humility…We miss him terribly…”

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