Brooke Baldwin, CNN's afternoon anchor for the past decade and one of the network's best-known personalities, said Tuesday that she will step down in mid-April.
While Baldwin, 41, said she has no job lined up, she will publish a book this spring. She referenced the book on a Twitter post just after telling viewers of her departure at the top of her program, "CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin."
In the tweet — almost word for word what she told viewers in the emotional announcement — Baldwin said, "This next life 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. For the last two years I’ve been working on my book #Huddle: How Women Unlock Their Collective Power."
Baldwin was knocked off the air last April after she tested positive for the coronavirus, and by her own account, went to "hell and back" during her recovery. In an essay later posted on CNN.com, Baldwin wrote that one of the gifts she received during her recuperation was clarity. "In our normal lives, we're faced with a barrage of distractions. ... When I was sick and my body came to a screeching halt, I stopped doing and started really feeling."
Baldwin made no reference to her illness in Tuesday's announcement but instead said that "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 of becoming a full-time CNN correspondent."
The Atlanta native had joined CNN when it was in the midst of a grueling (and losing) battle with Fox News while the afternoon lineup had become an also-ran. Named "CNN Newsroom" anchor in 2010, she then became a key part of the turnaround story over the next decade. This past January was CNN's single most-watched month since its launch in 1980 while Fox had fallen to third place.
Steady, reliable and far less inclined to opinion than other cable news counterparts, Baldwin (who relocated from Atlanta to New York City in 2014) was a big part of the network's various digital initiatives, including the launch of her own series in 2017 ("American Woman"). She was also at the forefront of some of the biggest stories of the decade for CNN, including gun violence.
CNN had no immediate comment on her replacement, although trade publications have reported in recent weeks that a number of schedule changes — including in the afternoon hours — are imminent.