[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/08/01/art.htseat0801.gi.jpg caption="The White House Correspondents Association has decided which media outlet gets the prime seat in the White House briefing room once held by Helen Thomas."]
(CNN) - The Associated Press has won the political version of musical chairs, beating out Fox News, Bloomberg and National Public Radio to win the coveted front row, center seat of the White House briefing room left vacant by Helen Thomas' retirement in June, the White House Correspondents Association announced Sunday.
The change will take effect Monday, the association said.
Fox effectively came in second in the battle - the subject of weeks of speculation on such Inside the Beltway blogs as Politico. The network will move from its current second-row position into AP's former front row seat, while NPR will now move into the second row next to Bloomberg vacated by Fox.