NEW YORK (AP) – Judy Woodruff, the anchor of CNN’s “Inside Politics,” is leaving the network when her contract expires in June.

Woodruff, 58, said Thursday that she hoped to teach, write and work on long-form documentaries. She’ll also be a consultant and occasional contributor to CNN.

“This gives me the opportunity to sit back, take a deep breath and think about what I want to do,” Woodruff told The Associated Press. “I do want to stay in journalism. I’m not leaving journalism. I’m just leaving daily journalism.”

CNN offered Woodruff a new contract, but she had decided to leave before those discussions began.

Woodruff was chief White House correspondent for NBC News from 1977 to 1982, and covered Washington for the “Today” show. She left NBC for the PBS documentary series “Frontline with Judy Woodruff” and reported for the “MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour.”

She joined CNN in 1993, and was a frequent anchor for breaking stories such as the 1996 Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

“We’re sorry to see her go,” said Jonathan Klein, CNN/U.S. president. “She’s one of the most brilliant and consistent and respected Washington journalists that there has ever been.”

Klein said CNN is re-examining all of its political coverage and that it’s not certain whether “Inside Politics,” an hourlong program that airs each weekday at 3:30 p.m. Eastern, would continue without Woodruff.

“Everything is in play,” he said.

Last winter, Klein canceled “Crossfire” as a regular program and said he had less interest in political debate shows.

Earlier this month, CNN said John King, its senior White House correspondent since 1999, would become chief national correspondent, covering stories that will take him out of Washington.


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