CBS's Byron Pitts to the Mouse House

byronpitts.jpg

With CNN's Jeff Zucker hiring just about everyone at ABC News, it is leaving the network with holes to fill.

If Zucker can swipe talent from ABC...ABC figures they can do the same to CBS.

ABC News is finalizing a deal to hire Byron Pitts, a contributor to "60 Minutes" and chief national correspondent for the CBS Evening News, POLITICO has learned.

Pitts will serve as both chief national correspondent and anchor at ABC News, and will appear across the network's programming. ABC News president Ben Sherwood is expected to announce the news next week.

Pitts is just the latest in a string of high-profile hires for the network. Sherwood announced the hire of New York Times reporters Jeff Zeleny and Susan Saulny earlier this week, as well as the appointment of Rick Klein to political director. Sources who spoke to POLITICO earlier this week said Sherwood is trying to beef up the network's political bench following a number of recent departures.

The move is also a rare loss for "60 Minutes," the CBS weekly news magazine, which tends to retain its talent. Pitts joined 60 Minutes in Jan. 2009; he has been a national correspondent for CBS News since 2006.

ABC News declined to comment on the talks; Pitts did not respond to a request for comment.