President Obama announced today that White House Press Secretary Jay Carney will step down.

“Jay has become one of my closest friends and is a great press secretary,” the president said, adding that he’ll continue to rely on him as an adviser.

President Obama said Josh Earnest will take Carney’s place.

“Josh is a coach’s son from Kansas City. He still roots for the Royals, I guess. As you know, his name describes his demeanor. … you can’t find just a nicer individual even outside of Washington. The country of course knows him for his golden voice and dulcet tones on ‘West Wing Week’ – the biggest viral Internet hit since, ‘Between Two Ferns,’” President Obama joked.

Earnest served as Obama’s Iowa communications director during the Iowa caucuses. He'll be Obama's third press secretary overall. Robert Gibbs preceded Carney from 2009 to Feb. 2011.