From NBC's Kelly O'Donnell
NBC News has learned that White House Press Secretary Tony Snow will step down Sept. 14 as the president's chief spokesman and the public face of the White House. Dana Perino is expected to replace him.
He is expected to make his announcement during today's on-camera White House briefing at 12:45pm. President Bush is expected to make a statement at the briefing. Snow formally informed the president yesterday.
Snow says his departure is based on family finances. "If I had the dough I'd stay 'til the bitter end," Snow told NBC News. As an assistant to the President, Snow earns the highest-level salary among White House officials at $168,000 a year.
The 52-year-old Snow says his decision is not related to a recurrence of cancer. In March, the White House announced that Snow's colon cancer has returned. In his first battle, Snow had his colon removed in 2005. This most recent recurrence showed cancer had spread in the abdomen, the peritoneal cavity. After surgery in March, Snow completed four months of chemotherapy recently and tells NBC News the CAT scans and MRIs "look great." Snow says he will continue with "maintenance chemo" for the approximately five tumors he still has. Snow says his doctors have told him those tumors are "stable" and "fractionally smaller."
He says he has no immediate plans but will seek employment where he can earn more money. Snow says he intends to become visible in cancer activism.
The president named Snow as his third Press Secretary on April 26, 2006, replacing Scott McClellan. Snow conducted his first on-camera briefing on May 8, 2006.
Snow previously worked as host of "The Tony Snow Show" on FOX News Radio, and "Weekend Live with Tony Snow" on the FOX News Channel. He's written nationally syndicated columns for both The Detroit News and USA Today. Snow is married to wife Jill, and they have three children.