Three years after walking away from CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin, the show’s former host has finally opened up about the real reasons behind her decision to leave the network after 13 years. Baldwin penned a powerful essay explaining her departure for Vanity Fair in April 2024, citing problems with her executive producer and CNN’s former president Jeff Zucker.

Who Is Brooke Baldwin?

Baldwin is a journalist, TV host and author who worked at CNN from 2008 to 2021. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Baldwin began her career in 2001 at WVIR-TV in Charlottesville, Virginia, and later moved on to WOWK-TV in West Virginia. She then joined WTTG in Washington, D.C., as a lead reporter for their 10 p.m. newscast.

While at CNN, Baldwin hosted CNN Newsroom on weekdays from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET. She was based at the Atlanta headquarters until 2014 when she moved to New York City. Some of her coverage included President Barack Obama‘s second inauguration in 2013, the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting and President Donald Trumps inauguration in 2017. Baldwin announced her exit from CNN in February 2021 and hosted her final episode on April 16, 2021.

Why Did Brooke Baldwin Leave CNN?

In a piece for Vanity Fair on April 23, 2024, Baldwin pulled back the curtain on her exit from the news channel, revealing that she began to experience a toxic environment once she moved from Atlanta to New York. Her team stayed behind in Atlanta, creating a long-distance working relationship.

“My producer made me feel as though I couldn’t do heavy-hitting interviews without him,” Baldwin wrote. “Or, maybe, I allowed him to make it feel like I couldn’t do heavy-hitting interviews without him. The word gaslighting has become so cliché, but that’s what it felt like. Manipulation. Bullying.”

Baldwin claimed that her producer would “go dark” and refuse to speak to her if she missed one of his emails and alleged that he sometimes only communicated with her via writing on the teleprompter instead of speaking to her through her earpiece. However, Baldwin wanted to maintain her “good girl” image, so she ignored the behavior for a few years. She ultimately decided to say something about it after Trump was elected as president.

Why Did Brooke Baldwin Leave CNN? Why News Host Left
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“I got curious about the legions of women who, as a direct result of that election, finally decided to speak up,” she continued.

“In November 2019, I finally walked into my boss’s office,” she said, adding that she told Zucker she “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,” Baldwin wrote, noting that this was the “beginning of the end” for her. She recalled being pulled off the air for two months “with very little explanation” and then having her show “cut in half” when she returned.

Baldwin added that, in January 2021, her agent told her that she was being pushed out of the network. “Jeff wanted me out,” she claimed. “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.”

Where Is Brooke Baldwin Now?

In the same month that she left CNN, Baldwin published her first book, Huddle: How Women Unlock Their Collective Power, featuring interviews with Ava DuVernay, Stacey Abrams, Gloria Steinem and more. In December 2023, Netflix announced that Baldwin would host the reality show The Trust: A Game of Greed, where strangers receive a quarter of a million dollars to distribute among themselves or vote each other out in order to receive more money.

Baldwin revealed in her Vanity Fair essay that she reached out to her former producer and Zucker before publishing the piece. “Jeff’s publicist responded by saying ‘he wishes you all the best,'” she wrote. “My old producer never responded.”