CNN hires Tony Snow as political contributor

Outgoing White House Press Secretary Tony Snow takes questions during his final on-camera briefing at the White House in Washington, September 12, 2007. REUTERS/Jim Young

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Cable television news network CNN has hired former White House press secretary Tony Snow as a conservative political contributor.

In a statement released on Monday, Jon Klein, president of CNN/U.S., described Snow, a longtime host of several programs on the rival network Fox News Channel, as a “well-known and respected observer of politics.”

Snow, 52, has had a long-standing relationship with the White House as press secretary to President George W. Bush between 2006-2007, and as speech-writing director and media affairs advisor to President George H.W. Bush in 1991.

In 2005, he underwent colon-removal surgery and six months of chemotherapy, and later left the Bush administration after being diagnosed with a recurrence of cancer.

“The big challenge in 2008 is to develop deep, creative and aggressive analysis of both political parties, their candidates and campaigns,” Snow said in a statement. “I’m eager to get started, since this race is sure to shape American politics for years to come.”

Snow hosted “Fox News Sunday,” “Weekend Live with Tony Snow” and other shows for the Fox News Channel for 10 years beginning 1996. He also appeared as the conservative co-host of CNN’s “Crossfire” before joining Fox News.

The political pundit also appeared as a frequent guest host on Rush Limbaugh’s conservative radio program in the 1990s.