In a recent profile with the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Brooke Baldwin revealed a little juicy nugget: if it weren’t for CNN’s quick action… she may be a Fox News anchor right now, instead of a CNN anchor.
“I was in D.C. working as a reporter. It’s a non-traditional story. Imagine as a kid growing up in Atlanta drinking Coca Cola. You know about CNN. My very first internship was at CNN when the bug bit. I had a boss who ended up at CNNI. He said, “Brooke – take the plunge!’ I had conversations but there wasn’t an official job offer. I then took a big leap. I just jumped. I came on CNN as a freelancer. I ended up freelancing for two and a half years. You’re a freelancer with a yellow badge. I worked my tail off. The economy then took a nosedive. They froze freelance positions. I was down to working two days a week. I was wondering, ‘What have I done? I left a sure thing for Atlanta and now I’m barely working!’ Slowly but surely, things picked up. I’ve never shared this before but Fox News called me. Roger Ailes [president of Fox News], I owe you one. Join Fox, he said. CNN said, ‘Whoa! We invested two and a half years on you. Let’s make you a full-time correspondent.’ That could have been a major opportunity at Fox. But I stuck with CNN. Slowly but surely I began working on certain shows. Then they made some changes and needed me to anchor at 3 p.m.”
When asked how current CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker treats her, she responded:
“He’s been really good to me. We have an awesome relationship. He pops into my office daily, sometimes to joke with me about something. Sometimes, we’ll rib on each other. He has done awesome things. I’m in the same spot [she did move from 3 to 5 p.m. to 2 to 4 p.m. a couple of years ago.] I still have a job. I had an incredible year. I love being in the field. I’m a reporter at heart. When he first came on, he threw resources at major stories. I think that’s when CNN really resonates with people.”
And about her move to NYC:
“I think it came time when I was doing a new [contract] deal. [Zucker] said we think you could really soar up here. I agreed. I love Atlanta. Atlanta will always be home to me in a unique way no other CNN anchor can say. But moving up here has been wonderful with the access and events, the people I brush shoulders with. I can get people to come on the show when I meet them face to face. It’s a lot harder to turn me down when I’m right there.”
You can read the full profile at the AJC.