The CNN-related bits are below:
TVNewser: Your show was No. 1 in the demo on cable news in January. What do you think was key to winning two hours in the afternoon?
Baldwin: It’s a combination: my fantastic Atlanta-based team, my EP Eric Hall, who is my work hubs and is phenomenal with story selection and pushing me. And I think a little ‘special sauce.’ Plus, I think viewers know CNN delivers time and time again on the most important stories. And… I think viewers want to get their news from someone who’s real.
TVNewser: How do you think moving the show from Atlanta to New York is making a difference to viewers?
Baldwin: I run into viewers all the time who have no idea I’ve moved to NYC. I think for many of them a studio is a studio is a studio. What has changed is the access I have to newsmakers, commentators, analysts, etc in New York. Speaking with them in person on set makes all the difference. It forces me to be more on my game, a great thing, and being able to look someone directly in the eye leads to a better interview which translates to more compelling TV.
TVNewser: You started as a correspondent and moved to the anchor desk, but you still go out into the field and report. Which do you prefer?
Baldwin: I’m answering this question on a train heading home after a 14-hour day covering the Boston blizzard — including anchoring my two-hour show in the snow without TelePrompTer. The answer is — I’m a reporter at heart. In every job I’ve ever had starting in Charlottesville, VA some fifteen years ago, I’ve always done both. Reporting makes you a better anchor and vice versa. That said, I pinch myself everyday knowing I hold down two hours of the 24 at CNN. But just ask my boss — any time a major story breaks, I’m banging on his door to send me. He’s probably smiling as he’s reading this.
You can read the full Q&A at TVNewser.