Jessica Yellin

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Jessica Yellin
Jessica Yellin Event 2016.jpg
Yellin speaking in Los Angeles in September, 2016
Born Jessica Sage Yellin
(1971-02-25) February 25, 1971 (age 47)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Education Harvard University
Occupation Broadcast journalist
Parent(s) Adele Adest Yellin
Ira Edward Yellin
Awards Emmy Award (Outstanding Live Coverage of a Current News Story)
Gracie Award (Outstanding Hard News Feature)

Jessica Sage Yellin[1] (born February 25, 1971) is an American journalist. Focused primarily on politics, she was the Chief White House Correspondent for CNN in Washington, D.C.from 2011 to 2013.[2] Described as "one of the most influential women in Washington," Yellin began reporting for CNN as the network's senior political correspondent in 2007, covering Capitol Hill, domestic politics and the White House.[3]

Yellin is a senior fellow at the USC Annenberg School of Journalism and a member of the Board of Directors for the Center for Public Integrity.[4][5]

Early life and education[edit]

Yellin was born to a Jewish family in Los Angeles, California, the only daughter of Adele Marilyn (née Adest) and Ira Yellin.[6][7][8] She has one brother, Seth.[7] Her father, the son of an Orthodox rabbi, was a prominent real estate developer who focused on restoring older homes and neighborhoods in Los Angeles. He also was a past president of the American Jewish Committee.[9][10] She attended St. Augustine-by-the-Sea elementary school (now named Crossroads Elementary, of the Crossroads School for the Arts and Sciences) in Santa Monica, CA. She was president of her high school graduating class at The Westlake School for Girls in Los Angeles. She graduated from Harvard College magna cum laude where she was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

Chief White House Correspondent[edit]

As Chief White House correspondent she conducted an in-depth interview with President Barack Obama that aired throughout the Democratic Convention and helped shaped the network's coverage. She has provided breaking news and analysis on President Obama's administration and during the 2012 election interviewed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, First Lady Michelle Obama, former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, House Speaker John Boehner and former top economist Larry Summers.


Jessica Yellin

Prior to serving as Chief White House Correspondent Yellin served as National Political Correspondent at CNN where she traveled the country covering hotly contested races throughout the network’s 2008 and 2012 ‘America Votes’ election coverage. Yellin has also covered significant policy debates in Washington, including the push to reform the financial regulatory system.[11]

Yellin joined CNN as a Capitol Hill correspondent in August 2007. Prior to CNN, Yellin was a White House correspondent for ABC News. She began with ABC in July 2003 and reported on politics and culture for such programs as Good Morning America and Nightline. She has interviewed Presidents Bill Clinton, George H. W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush. She has also reported from around the globe, including Russia, China, Europe, Latin America and Mongolia.

Prior to joining ABC News, Yellin was an overnight anchor and correspondent for MSNBC. She covered the 2000 recount in Florida as a general assignment reporter at WTVT-TV in Tampa. She began her broadcast career in 1998 as a general assignment reporter for Orlando's 24-hour cable news channel, Central Florida News 13. In 1999, she was named morning anchor.

Yellin’s work has been published in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Details Magazine and Entertainment Weekly. Her experience includes working in Los Angeles reporting for George Magazine. Prior to this, she served as front-of-the-book editor at Los Angeles Magazine, where she contributed and edited stories on politics, Hollywood and cultural issues.

In August 2013, Yellin became chief domestic affairs correspondent and also served as a substitute anchor.[12] Reportedly dissatisfied with the move, Yellin decided to leave CNN in October that same year.[13]

In the fall of 2014 she was the regular guest host for WBUR's program On Point while Tom Ashbrook took time off to deal with family issues.

Yellin was a fellow at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics.[14]

Honors and awards[edit]

In 2010, she won a Gracie Award for Outstanding Hard News Feature for Outstanding Women, a report on gender disparity in politics.[3][15]

Highlights and controversies[edit]

Yellin covered the 2012 election between President Barack Obama and Republican Party nominee Mitt Romney.

Bill Clinton, Sarah Palin and the economy[edit]

During her coverage of the 2008 presidential election, Yellin covered stories on Bill Clinton, Sarah Palin, and the U.S. economy.[16][17][18]

Iraq War coverage[edit]

While appearing on Anderson Cooper 360° on May 28, 2008, Yellin admitted to having been pressured by her former employer, MSNBC, to avoid negative reporting and report favorably on the war in Iraq in the run-up to it.[19] Yellin later clarified her comments, and some speculate about pressure from her employers with regard to these matters.[20]


  1. ^ According to the State of California. California Birth Index, 1905-1995. Center for Health Statistics, California Department of Health Services, Sacramento, California. At
  2. ^ "Yellin named chief White House correspondent". 2011-06-28. Retrieved June 28, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Patrick Gavin (2013-03-21). "Elle honors D.C.'s powerful women". Politico. Retrieved 2014-06-07. 
  4. ^ Cohen, Alix (February 2, 2016). "Democratic divide? What the Iowa caucus reveals about the state of the party". KPCC. Retrieved 26 January 2017. 
  5. ^ "Award-winning journalist Jessica Yellin joins Center board". Center for Public Integrity. Center for Public Integrity. Retrieved 11 February 2017. 
  6. ^ New York Times: "Adele Adest Married to Ira Yellin" March 25, 1968
  7. ^ a b Waterton Daily news: "Annette Adest" May 22, 2012
  8. ^ The Van Nuys News : "Just wed Yellins on Honeymoon Abroad " March 28, 1968 | "Ira Edward Yelhn, son of Rabbi and Mrs. Isaac Yellin of Woodland Hills, is Europe-bound with his bride Adele Marilyn Adest, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Jacob Harry Adest of Potsdam, N.Y. The young couple's afternoon marriage was solemnized by Rabbi Yellin at Congregation Sharrei Tefila in Los Angeles"
  9. ^ Jewish Journal: "Remembering Ira Yellin - A true pioneer of downtown redevelopment" by Dan Rosenfeld August 1, 2012
  10. ^ Los Angeles Times Obituaries: "Ira Yellin, 62; Civic Leader and Longtime Champion of the City's Historic Core" by KURT STREETER September 11, 2002
  11. ^ "Yellin and Mitchell Grace Elle - FishbowlDC". 2013-03-22. Retrieved 2014-06-07. 
  12. ^ "CNN Correspondent Jessica Yellin Out At Network: TV Newser". Huffington Post. 2013-10-09. Retrieved 2014-06-07. 
  13. ^ "Jessica Yellin to Leave CNN (Report)". TheWrap. 2013-10-09. Retrieved 2014-06-07. 
  14. ^ Wemple, Eric (November 5, 2015). "Former CNNer Jessica Yellin to bash the media at a closed-to-media Chicago event". Washington Post. Retrieved 26 January 2017. 
  15. ^ "Jessica Yellin honored with Gracie award". Anderson Cooper 360 - Blogs. 2010-05-25. Retrieved 2014-06-07. 
  16. ^ Jessica Yellin: Getting Yelled at by Bill Clinton So You Don't Have To. Posted January 28, 2008. Retrieved June 28, 2011.
  17. ^ Palin's town charged women for rape exams. Posted September 22, 2008. Retrieved June 28, 2011.
  18. ^ GOP House Leader Says McCain "Got The Discussion Going In The Direction That We Wanted". Posted September 26, 2008. Retrieved June 28, 2011.
  19. ^ TV news under the microscope. Posted May 29, 2008. Retrieved June 28, 2011.
  20. ^ Jessica Yellin 180°. Posted May 30, 2008. Retrieved June 28, 2011.

External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by
Ed Henry
CNN Senior White House Correspondent
2011 – 2013
Succeeded by
Brianna Keilar