Brooke Baldwin is leaving CNN after more than a decade. The CNN Newsroom anchor, who became one of the network's most prominent faces in its afternoon lineup, made the surprising announcement on-air on Tuesday.
"Before we get going, I want to start with some personal news," Baldwin began at the start of her show. "I will be leaving CNN in April."
The 41-year-old Emmy nominee noted during her emotional speech, "I don't have a job I'm jumping right into, and yes, I'm feeling very vulnerable."
Baldwin joined CNN in 2008 as a freelancer — "in the midst of the Great Recession" — out of Atlanta and quickly rose the ranks.
"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 team. 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," Baldwin said.
"For a decade, I have 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, human interest stories, royal weddings, my American Woman series, the social justice movements that define our culture and a pandemic that changed the world," she continued.
Baldwin thanked both viewers and her "very large CNN family."
"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," Baldwin said. "There is 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."
Baldwin said she has been working on her first book, Huddle: How Women Unlock Their Collective Power, for the last two years.
“But what is it Brené Brown says? 'Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change' and I am so excited about what is to come," she concluded. "So, here it goes: I really do hope you join me, and in the meantime, I'll be right here with you, right here until mid-April. Now, to the news."
Baldwin shared the announcement on social media.
1. I want to start with some personal news❤️ 📺 I will be leaving @CNN in April. I came to this network as a freelancer in 2008. I scribbled my name on a post it and stuck it outside a temporary office determined to fulfill my dream of becoming a full-time correspondent at CNN. pic.twitter.com/v4zeG5XMQX
— Brooke Baldwin (@BrookeBaldwin) February 16, 2021
Baldwin's CNN colleague, Wolf Blitzer, wished her "only the very best in her next adventure."
As someone who welcomed @BrookeBaldwin to the @CNNSitRoom 13 years ago when she was still freelancing, I can testify what an outstanding journalist she is. We will miss her. She's also a really nice person and a good friend. We wish her only the very best in her next adventure. https://t.co/v5YdKKCCcr
— Wolf Blitzer (@wolfblitzer) February 16, 2021
Aside from CNN Newsroom, Baldwin was also the creator and host of CNN’s digital series American Woman. She even has also has been part of CNN's annual New Year’s Eve coverage, so it looks like Don Lemon will have to find a new drinking partner.
Rumors about Baldwin's replacement have already been circulating on social media amid buzz of a CNN shakeup, but nothing has been confirmed. The network isn't commenting beyond the anchor's statement.
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