Brooke Baldwin Reveals Toxic Exit From CNN, Relationship Breakdowns: ‘Jeff [Zucker] Never Spoke to Me Again’

“I couldn’t tell the whole truth,” the former CNN anchor writes after resigning in 2021

Brooke Baldwin
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Brooke Baldwin, the CNN anchor who left in 2021, says she was coldly sidelined by then-network chief Jeff Zucker after she developed a contentious relationship with her executive producer and complained about it.

Baldwin wrote about her resignation in an essay for Vanity Fair, detailing the reasons she ultimately left the network, saying that after she brought the issue of developing discord to executives, then-CEO “Jeff [Zucker] wanted me out.”

When announcing her departure from the network in 2021, Baldwin said, “There is just more I need to do outside the walls of this place,” also hinting in an interview that there were other reasons for her exit, referring to CNN as a “male-dominated network.”

“When I signed off from CNN Newsroom on April 16, 2021, I couldn’t tell the whole truth,” Baldwin writes. “I wasn’t allowed to — and probably still am not.”

Baldwin said she was on her best “yes-girl behavior,” agreeing to take on anything the network threw at her, which eventually “snowballed” into a tense situation.

“CNN moved me from Atlanta to New York, but my producing team stayed behind; we would work long-distance,” Baldwin said. “I could feel my tether to my executive producer begin to fray.”

After her move, their “working relationship started to take a drastic turn,” Baldwin noted, adding that her producer “made me feel as though I couldn’t do heavy-hitting interviews without him.”

“The word ‘gaslighting’ has become so cliché, but that’s what it felt like,” she continued. “Manipulation. Bullying.”

Baldwin also noted that sometimes her producer would “go dark during my live broadcasts.”

“There would be days when I’d get on set, clip on my microphone, and slip my earpiece into my right ear. No ‘Hello.’ No check-in. Instead, I’d be greeted by someone less seasoned,” Baldwin recounted. 

When Baldwin finally decided it was time to address the issue head-on, she told Zucker that she wanted the producer off her team. Her request was denied. 

Baldwin recalled Zucker saying to her “I could give your show to someone in Washington tomorrow.” [Long pause] “But I won’t … because I believe you’re the best broadcaster on this network.”

During the following year, Baldwin was taken off air “for the two months leading up to and including Election Day 2020.”

“In January 2021, the morning Trump was impeached for a second time, my cell phone rang. It wasn’t my boss —rather, it was my agent,” Baldwin said. 

“Jeff wanted me out. No explanation. Just out,” she added. 

Baldwin noted that “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.”

After being with the network for 10 years, Baldwin says she received “crickets” after her exit.

“And the worst part? I had to lie to my team, my friends and family, and my viewers,” she writes. 

CNN declined TheWrap’s request for comment.


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