Veteran CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin announced Tuesday that she’s leaving the network after 13 years.
Baldwin made the shock announcement at the start of her 3pm show, CNN Newsroom, telling viewers ‘there is just more I need to do outside the walls of this place.’
The 41-year-old, who first joined CNN in 2008, said she plans to officially depart mid-April, adding that she doesn’t currently have another job lined up which has left her feeling ‘very, very vulnerable’.
However, after taking a deep breath to contain her emotions, she added: ‘I am so excited about what is to come.’
‘The next chapter will focus on what I love the most about my work: amplifying the lives of extraordinary Americans and putting my passion for storytelling to good use.’
Baldwin’s announcement comes just months after she was temporarily pulled from the air in the build to the 2020 election, telling supporters in a cryptic Instagram post that it was ‘not my choice’ to step aside.
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Baldwin made the shock announcement at the start of her 3pm show, CNN Newsroom, telling viewers ‘there is just more I need to do outside the walls of this place’
Brooke Baldwin gets emotional as she announces that she’ll be leaving CNN after a decade in April.
“I¿m feeling very vulnerable, but what is it Renee Brown says? Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change, and I am so excited about what is to come.” pic.twitter.com/0nKLWwNXZr
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) February 16, 2021
Baldwin’s departure from CNN in April will coincide with the release of her first book, Huddle: How Women Unlock Their Collective Power.
In her emotional address to her viewers, Baldwin detailed her journey through the local news circuit, saying her dream was always to become a ‘full-time CNN correspondent.’
She also thanked her viewers for their unrelenting support when she was battling the coronavirus last spring, saying: ‘You have been here with me every step of the way. I am so grateful for your loyalty and passion’.
Baldwin also thanked her co-workers and CNN president Jeff Zucker, who earlier this month announced that he too will be leaving the network later this year.
‘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 out there as we covered our era’s most urgent and important stories,’ Baldwin said.
CNN has not yet responded to a DailyMail.com request for comment on Baldwin’s departure.
During Tuesday’s show, after delivering her monologue, Baldwin went on to interview CNN political reporters Jeff Zeleny and Dana Bash
However, Baldwin’s exit may have been foreshadowed last fall when she posted a cryptic message to Instagram in October which suggested she was being forced off the air and temporarily replaced by Jake Tapper, ahead of the 2020 election.
‘As the election gears up, the political maestro @jaketapper will hold down my hour and his for the coming weeks. Wish I was with you, but I’ll see ya on [TV] on the flip side of the election,’ she wrote on October 1.
She gave no explanation for the move, but told supporters it was ‘not my choice’ to temporarily withdraw from her afternoon slot.
When asked by one fan, ‘Why are you taking so many weeks off at such an important time?’, she simply replied: ‘Not my choice.’
She said she was going ‘nowhere’ in response to a question about her moving on elsewhere, and also dispelled speculation that the decision to step aside was for health reasons insisting that she is ‘healthy’.
Her show was then pulled for several weeks, with CNN claiming they needed more airtime for the reporters in Washington DC
Her untimely exit may have been foreshadowed last fall when she posted a cryptic message to Instagram in October which suggested she was being forced off the air and temporarily replaced by Jake Tapper, ahead of the 2020 election
During Tuesday’s show, after delivering her monologue, Baldwin went on to interview CNN political reporters Jeff Zeleny and Dana Bash.
Bash interrupted a segment on the challenges facing President Joe Biden in reuniting the country to hail Baldwin as a close friend and mentor.
Even before Bash delivered her praises, Baldwin could be seen fighting back tears.
Bash told the host: ‘You know I think that you are the best. I have learned so much from you about so many things… you – more than any person I know in this business – you put the emotion and the humanity with your reporting every single day.’
A tearful Baldwin thanks Bash for her kind words, telling her she loved her, before returning to the segment at hand.
Baldwin later shared a clip of her show to her Instagram, writing: ‘Some news’.
A spokesperson for CNN told the Hill that Baldwin’s replacement could be announced as early as Wednesday.
Baldwin was one of the network’s highest-earning journalists, with a reported annual salary in the region of $4 million.
The highest paid is Anderson Cooper, who’s said to earn around $12 million a year.
The 41-year-old, who first joined CNN in 2008, said she plans to officially depart mid-April, adding that she doesn’t currently have another job lined up which has left her feeling ‘very vulnerable’
Last year, Baldwin opened up about her two-week battle with the coronavirus in a personal essay she penned for CNN in April, about living with and covering the pandemic.
In the lengthy article, she acknowledged herself as one of the lucky ones, writing that ‘even though my body constantly gave me the middle finger, my lungs did not.’
On April 27, she returned to anchor and spoke on the show about her battle with the illness, saying she had been to ‘hell and back’.
She described the ordeal as ‘a beating both mentally and physically’ and said the pain from her fever, chills and aches often left her in floods of tears.
‘I never knew when it would end,’ Baldwin told viewers at the time.
‘It was relentless, scary and lonely. But I was one of the lucky ones.’
Baldwin first joined CNN back in 2008.
As well as hosting CNN Newsroom she is also the creator and host of CNN’s Digital series ‘American Woman’ which features stories of women who have been trailblazers in their fields.
The anchor during her battle with COVID-19 which she described as going to ‘hell and back’