Brooke Baldwin announces she is leaving CNN in April

At the top of her show CNN Newsroom, CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin announced she was leaving CNN, the network she has worked at for nearly 13 years. “I will be leaving CNN in April. Let me back up. After most of my 20s working my way up in 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 fulfilling my dream of becoming a full-time CNN correspondent.”

She added, “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.” During fall 2020, Brianna Keilar took an hour from Baldwin, reducing her to an hour of airtime.

“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 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, royal weddings, my American Woman series, the social justice movements that define our culture and a pandemic that changed the world and politics – lots of politics.

“You have been with me every step of the way – never more so than when I was incredibly sick with Covid last year. I am so grateful for your loyalty and passion for the world we cover. I am so grateful to my show team – you know who you are. You know who you are. To Jeff Zucker, to my very large CNN family and to you. To you.”

Baldwin ended, “And, yep, we still in a pandemic, and nope, I don’t have a job I’m jumping right into, and yes – yes, I’m feeling very vulnerable. But what is it Brene Brown says? ‘Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change,’ and I am so excited about what is to come. So, here it goes: I really do hope you’ll join me, and in the meantime, I’ll be right here with you, right her until mid-April. Now, to the news.”

It has been reported that Keilar will actually move to the morning show, New Day, and Alisyn Camerota will move to afternoons.

Stanley Tucci joins CNN to go searching for Italy

A little over two years after CNN host and chef Anthony Bourdain’s death, CNN is returning to the food genre — this time, with actor Stanley Tucci.

Viewers will go along with him as he enjoys the luxurious creamy carbonara of Rome, the delicious simplicity of Sicily’s pasta alla Norma, the saffron-infused silkiness of risotto in Milan, the crispy tenderness of bistecca alla fiorentina, the perfect classic ragu alla bolognese and the world’s best pizza in Naples, the network touts. Tucci comes prepared with a bottomless appetite for it all, showing us how the diversity of Italian cooking offers a gateway through which you can glimpse Italy’s history and culture.

“During a time when everyone wishes they could travel, the series will transport you through Italy’s cultural past and present through its extraordinary cuisine,” said Tucci. “The food tells the story of this country’s unique history and I’m thrilled to serve as a guide through this journey.”

In each episode, Tucci visits a different region or city of Italy, including Tuscany, Sicily, Milan, Rome, Bologna, and Naples/The Amalfi Coast.

“Stanley’s engaging personality, wit and charm make him the perfect fit to take CNN’s viewers on an intimate voyage to his beloved Italy,” said Amy Entelis, executive vice president of talent for CNN Worldwide. “We know our audience will feel inspired as they experience, through Stanley’s eyes, the food, culture and people of a country that has given the world so much joy from its cuisine.”

Searching for Italy debuted last night at 9pm, and will air 5 more episodes on Sundays at 9.


Sam Vinograd leaves CNN, joins Homeland Security

vinogradCNN national security contributor Sam Vinograd announced yesterday she has left CNN and is joining the Department of Homeland Security as a senior counselor. Vinograd has been with CNN since October 2017 and hosted a weekend segment on CNN Newsroom called the Presidential Weekly Briefing.

Prior to joining the network, Vinograd was with the White House’s National Security Council from 2011-2013 during the Obama administration. In addition to commentating on CNN since 2017, she has also served as a senior adviser to the Biden Institute.

“Several of Biden’s new appointments are people who served in government, then went to media gigs, and now are returning to government,” medic critic Jeffrey McCall told Fox News. “This sort of constant migration back and forth between media and government gives the public the distinct impression that government and media are basically part of the same establishment.”

Jeff Zucker is leaving CNN

CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker announced this morning to staffers he will depart CNN at year’s end 2021. “The truth is, back in November and December I had basically decided that it was time to move on now,” Zucker said on the company’s daily editorial call, according to CNN. “But since then I’ve had a change of heart. And I want to stay. Not forever, but for another year. And I feel really good about this decision.”

Zucker created intense loyalty with his employees. “He’s the best boss I ever had, and it’s not even close,” CNN anchor Jake Tapper told the New York Times. “I’m grateful that we get him for another year.”

Associates said Zucker had been in high spirits in recent weeks, basking in WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar’s public praise of him and buoyed by CNN’s high ratings, the Times noted.

He joined CNN in 2013, and currently serves as the chief of WarnerMedia News and Sports.

Just the day before Zucker announced his intent to leave, Vanity Fair reported people at CNN “feel like he has their back, and I don’t know if anyone else can replicate that sense of support,” one CNN journalist told me. “In 40 years of CNN, the place has never been defined by its leader like it is right now. It’s like Roger Ailes without the sexual abuse and hush money.”

Sportscaster Bob Costas joins CNN

c8d9197b5ae301b34d2af95c4607169570-09-bob-costas.2x.h473.w710CNN President Jeff Zucker announced Monday that former NBC sportscaster Bob Costas will be joining CNN as a contributor. Costas will provide commentary and his perspective on a wide range of sports-related issues as the industry adapts to new challenges posed by the coronavirus and the frequent intersection of sports with larger societal issues, according to the network.

“Bob Costas is a legendary, respected voice across the spectrum of sports and beyond,” Zucker said. “As the world continues to change amid the coronavirus pandemic, we are confident that Bob’s insightful analysis will help our viewers better understand what the future holds as the sports and teams we love evolve to meet this moment.”

“I’m very pleased to join CNN’s roster of journalists and commentators. CNN’s willingness to devote time and attention to sports related topics, makes it a good fit for me,” Costas said.

The two previously worked together at NBC.

Ismael Cala returns to primetime with new show

calaFormer CNN en Español primetime anchor Ismael Cala is returning to television, beginning on Monday on MegaTV. The anchor departed CNN after 15 years in 2016.

His new show “will have guests, analysis, discussions on current events, fascinating stories, and a forum to put our current reality into context,” airing weekdays at 10pm.

“It will be one hour of information, not saturation. An intimate space where we go over what is happening currently, with an absorbing, taboo-free vision of the future. Positive journalism and entertainment in an audacious, agile, analytical, and bold combination. We want to create awareness and inject hope in a world that so desperately needs it, and to be astonished by the adventure,” Cala explained in the show’s announcement.

The show’s executive producer Amer Mercado said, “Prepare to be surprised every night, since the playfulness, journalistic experience, sense of humor, and the genuine personality and humanity of Cala will be the best choice to go to bed in the best way.”

CNN announces new Race beat and expands Police beat

cnn-640x480-1CNN has created a new beat, the Race team, and has expanded its law enforcement beat, CNN Worldwide Jeff Zucker announced in a memo on Monday. “Our reporting has been powerful, emotional, and helped to shed a light on the growing movement against institutional racism. Today, I am pleased to announce that we are making an even more significant, sustained commitment to ensure race coverage is a permanent part of our journalism,” Zucker said.

In introducing the new team, he said, “We are pleased to share the news of a new and expanded race team, which will contribute to all CNN platforms. This team will build on what so many do already at CNN and will provide the needed structure to cover this beat with more focus and force,” before noting “team will break news and cover the stories and conversations around race. The struggles, progress, and triumphs.”

Zucker continued, “Delano Massey will be the leader of this new beat. Delano joined CNN recently from the AP, where he was the leader of the race and ethnicity team. He will also continue to run the team covering the Justice Department. Delano will report to Matthew for newsgathering and into Cathy for digital priorities. The three of them will collaborate closely and make sure these stories reach and serve audiences across the network. They are recruiting as of today.”

Furthermore, he noted the expansion on the law enforcement beat. “We’re formalizing a structure to increase our commitment to reporting on policing in America—the power that law enforcement has, how they wield it, and the full view of policing as seen from individuals and communities who value, fear or question their authority. The challenges that officers face and the stories of where the system is working and where it’s broken. Pervaiz Shallwani will oversee this beat. Pervaiz joined CNN recently after spending more than a decade editing and reporting on policing. Pervaiz will report to Matthew and continue his leadership of daily enterprise and investigative efforts in New York. In addition to drawing on the already-strong work of Shimon Prokupecz, Josh Campbell, Ryan Young, Mark Morales, Scott Glover, and others, we are going to add a new digitally-focused Senior Writer to this beat team who will contribute important context to breaking stories and think of policing as a business and an institution. The senior writer will go deep into the renewed scrutiny on police tactics, training, and unions.”