Why Did Brooke Baldwin Leave Her Dream Job at CNN After a Decade?

"After 10 years: crickets. And the worst part? I had to lie to my team, my friends and family, and my viewers,” writes Brooke.

Brandon Charles - Author

Apr. 24 2024, Updated 2:49 p.m. ET

Brooke Baldwin attends Hello Sunshine's Shine Away, Connected by AT&T, at Rolling Greens on Oct. 21, 2023
Source: Getty Images

Three years after leaving her highly successful, long running midday show on CNN, Brooke Baldwin is finally acknowledging why she left the cable news giant.

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In a piece published by Vanity Fair, Brooke penned an extensive essay on her life since CNN. For the first time, the public is learning that leaving wasn’t entirely up to her. So why did she leave? Keep reading to find out.

Brooke Baldwin at the 11th Annual CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute at American Museum of Natural History on Dec.ember 17, 2017
Source: Getty Images
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Working at CNN was Brooke’s dream job, so why did she leave?

In her goodbye announcement, Brooke talked about working at CNN. “After most of my 20s working my way up 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 fulfill my dream as 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 team.”

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Later in the announcement, she spoke about her future and the kinds of stories she’d be telling. But she never actually said why she was leaving and acknowledged she wasn't going to another job.

It seems like Brooke 'left' her position for the same reasons lots of people leave their jobs.

Brooke details some of the issues she had at CNN midway through the Vanity Fair essay. "In November 2019, I finally walked into my boss’s office. I told Jeff Zucker, the former president of CNN, that I wanted my producer off my team. I didn’t want him to be punished — just moved to another anchor to start anew. A male colleague had made a similar request with success. My request? Denied. Little did I know, this was the beginning of the end for me."

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Brooke writes, “To summarize the next year: With very little explanation (read: some excuse about “not enough available control rooms” to produce my show), my boss yanked me off the air for the two months leading up to and including Election Day 2020. When people understandably started asking why I was “taking a vacation” during such a crucial time, I responded to a random, buried comment on Instagram: 'Not my choice.'" Outlets around the world, like the Daily Mail, noticed Brooke's comment.

Brooke Baldwin speaks onstage at the L'Oreal Paris Women of Worth Celebration 2016 Arrivals on Nov. 16, 2016
Source: Getty Images
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Brooke’s ‘leaving’ was more like a firing.

When Brooke announced her departure in February 2021, the words "firing" or "being let go" weren't used. The Hollywood Reporter piece about the dissolution said, “Brooke Baldwin to Depart CNN,” never uses those words. When Brooke spoke in her final broadcast, those words weren't used. For the public, this appeared to be entirely Brooke’s decision, but it wasn't.

In the Vanity Fair piece she writes, “Jeff wanted me out. No explanation. Just out. From that moment on, after I’d spent 13 years at CNN, Jeff never spoke to me again. Neither did my former executive producer, who ended up getting moved to another show for COVID-protocol reasons and then eventually promoted. After 10 years: crickets. And the worst part? I had to lie to my team, my friends and family, and my viewers.”

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Life after CNN includes a 'Wall Street Journal' bestseller and a Netflix show.

Since leaving the cable news giant, Brooke released her first book, 2021’s Huddle: How Women Unlock Their Collective Power and hosted the Netflix show The Trust: A Game of Greed.

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