CNN announced that former NPR host Audie Cornish is joining its forthcoming streamer and and existing podcast network Monday, just days after her NPR exit raised eyebrows.
“I am very excited to join CNN and the CNN+ team. There are fresh stories to be told and new ways to tell them,” Cornish said in a statement. “CNN has a dynamic system of reporters and storytelling channels. I am thrilled to be a part of it.”
Cornish announced her exit from “All Things Considered,” which she co-hosted since 2012, last Tuesday. Her exit promped a flurry of online chatter and headlines revolving around the fact that numerous Black hosts and hosts of color have been walking away from the public radio behemoth. She was preceded in her departure by “Weekend Edition Sunday” host Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, who moved to the New York Times in September, “Morning Edition” host Noel King, who headed to Vox Media in November, and former “1A” host Joshua Johnson, who landed at MSNBC.
“If NPR doesn’t see this as a crisis, I don’t know what it’ll take,” tweeted “All Things Considered” co-host Ari Shapiro last week.
A representative for NPR did not immediately return a request for comment on the mini-exodus.
Two days later, Cornish addressed the situation in a tweet thread: “It seems my assumption that I would have a quiet transition was naïve. So I will attempt to provide whatever insight I can… using language the internet understands lol. Every single word of my announcement is true. I am leaving of my own accord with no malice or resentment. I have had a great run with a company full of people I respect and admire. And I am ready to try something new. I also understand that 4 hosts leaving in a year – three of them POC women– is a red flag as my co host @arishapiro underscored earlier this week. I appreciate him taking it upon himself to raise it. I can’t speak for all POC – but I want to be clear. I do not have to. Our experiences at the company vary and there are some common threads. A number of people have been waving their hands in the air trying to draw attention to them. check the threads. they are not hiding! Moreover some of these issues permeate the public media system – yes stations AND yes your favorite podcast companies that have sprung from that system. While the media reporting on this has been to treat each as a problem in isolation that is not the case. My path through public media and frankly journalism has of course not been all roses. There have been many many times when I was the only person of color ‘on the campaign bus’ ‘at the press conference’ ‘at the table’ ‘on the sunday show’ and all that entails. [Over] the years that has changed and for the better! There are many amazing talented black and brown people in front of the camera/mic, in high profile gigs, are executives and more. The flipside is that plenty of voices are speaking out about the work that still needs to be done. Call them! Yes this is for you media reporters. It’s also for public media managers, podcast companies and news media companies dipping into audio. Trust, you have the same issues brewing (pay equity, cultural exclusion, problems of recruitment and retention). You are not immune and you are not doing all that much better.”
Cornish will host a weekly show on CNN+ while contributing to its slate of programming in other ways. She will also host a CNN Audio podcast and will appear on the TV network for breaking news and political discussions. She will be based in Washington, D.C., and will start in February.
“We are thrilled to welcome Audie to CNN+ and CNN Audio,” said Andrew Morse, executive vice president and chief digital officer of CNN Worldwide and Head of CNN+. “Her voice has been such an important part of the lives of so many people, and the perspective, integrity and grace that have been hallmarks of her career will make her such an important addition to our teams.”