Former Huntington TV Anchor Announces She's Leaving CNN

Edited by Tony Rutherford from Multiple Reports
Former Huntington TV Anchor Announces She's Leaving CNN

An afternoon face with Huntington roots will be leaving CNN in mid-April.

Brooke Baldwin first broke into journalism at WVIR in Charlottesville, Va., then  as a morning host at WOWK. While at WOWK, she hosted the awards ceremony for the Appalachian Film Festival courtesy of her friendship with George Snider. 

Baldwin ,a native of Atlanta, got her break as a freelancer. She began on air as a contributor to the Rick Sanchez program. Sanchez said the wrong thing in public, prompting his immediate removal. Baldwin arrived the next day to find she would be doing the full show. That was 13 years ago.

She told viewers:

"“The next chapter of my life will be focused on what I love the most about my work: amplifying the lives of extraordinary Americans,” she said as she opened her Monday afternoon broadcast. . In remarks posted on Twitter, she added: “There is just more I need to do… outside the walls of this place, a place I have been privileged to call home for 13 years. Yep, we’re still in a pandemic. No, I don’t have a job I’m jumping right into. Yes, I’m feeling very vulnerable”  

Baldwin was involuntarily pulled from the air for a month during election season, but returned. She also did her annual New Year's gig with Don Lemon.

CNN had been preempting her time frame cutting it down to one hour since her return. 

She became the network's afternoon face by placing a close second to Fox News. Now, CNN leads the time frame. 

Unlike most presenters, she showed her emotions on poignant stories. Where the evening line up has been decidedly political, Baldwin, a Peabody Award winning journalist, reported straight down the middle. She delivered the news, not lengthy opinions. Except she sideswiped other anchors who "disappeared." She delivered her own  resignation announcement at the opening of the Tuesday show. 

Here is her full statement:

Here is the full text of Baldwin’s on-air announcement today:

“Before we get going, I want to start with some personal news: I will be leaving CNN in April. Let me back up. After most of my 20s working my way up in local news, I came to this network in 2008 – in the midst of the Great Recession as a freelancer. I remember I scribbled my name on a Post-It note and stuck it outside of this temporary office, determined to fulfilling my dream of becoming a full-time CNN correspondent.

“I wanted to be part of the best of the best in cable news and journalism, and, as a native Atlantan, this would be my hometown dream. Little did I know, I would not only go one to fulfill that dream, I would flourish in this environment and land my own two-hour show in the afternoon at the age of 31.

“For a decade I’ve never taken for granted the enormous responsibility and privilege I’ve had to work with some of the most talented producers and photojournalists and correspondents and anchors out there as we have covered our era’s most urgent and important stories, conflicts, terrorism, environmental and natural disasters, the wrath of gun violence, royal weddings, my American Woman series, the social justice movements that define our culture and a pandemic that changed the world and politics – lots of politics.

“You have been with me every step of the way – never more so than when I was incredibly sick with Covid last year. I am so grateful for your loyalty and passion for the world we cover. I am so grateful to my show team – you know who you are. You know who you are. To Jeff Zucker, to my very large CNN family and to you. To you.

“The next chapter of my life will be focused on what I love most about my work: amplifying the lives of extraordinary Americans and putting my passion for storytelling to good use. For the last two years, I’ve been working on my first book; it’s called Huddle: How Women Unlock Their Collective Power, and, you know, there’s just more I need to do – more I need to do outside of this place, outside of the walls of this place, a place I have been privileged to call home now for 13 years.

“And, yep, we still in a pandemic, and nope, I don’t have a job I’m jumping right into, and yes – yes, I’m feeling very vulnerable. But what is it Brene Brown says? ‘Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change,’ and I am so excited about what is to come. So, here it goes: I really do hope you’ll join me, and in the meantime, I’ll be right here with you, right her until mid-April. Now, to the news.”