May 8, 2021

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Brooke Baldwin Highlights Male-Dominated CNN Leadership Amid Departure


CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin has called out gender disparities at the network’s highest echelons ahead of her departure this month.

“I’ve been anchoring for 10-plus years, the majority of that time two hours in the afternoon. And in that time, you know, the most influential anchors on our network, the highest-paid, are men,” Baldwin said on an episode of the “On the Issues With Michele Goodwin” podcast this week. “My bosses, my executives are men. The person who oversees CNN Dayside is a man, and my executive producer for 10 years is a man. So I have been surrounded by a lot of men.”

“I do think it is changing, I know it is changing just by looking at some of the faces that are popping up more and more on our channel,” she added. 

The Wrap analyzed weekday cable news programming on major networks in 2018 and reported that CNN had significantly fewer women serving in visible on-air roles than its competitors. The network’s prime-time lineup is dominated by male anchors.

A CNN representative did not immediately return HuffPost’s request for comment.

Brooke Baldwin, who's been an anchor at CNN for more than a decade, will depart later this month.



Brooke Baldwin, who’s been an anchor at CNN for more than a decade, will depart later this month.

Being surrounded by men at the network had an effect on women’s stories being told, Baldwin said.

“I got told no a lot,” she said.

But she was beginning to see more women in power, she said, noting the network’s female executives leading its digital and news-gathering divisions.

“So little by little, by having women in places of power, and I would argue behind the scenes, not just in front … that is how you then have stories that reflect who they are,” she said.

“But we still have a bit of a ways to go. I want more women in the room.”

Baldwin has been at the network for 13 years and announced her departure in February. She said her decision to move on was influenced by her new book, “Huddle: How Women Unlock Their Collective Power,” and the trailblazing women she interviewed for it.

“I could not hold space with these women and be the bravest version of myself. And while my entire time at CNN has been extraordinary on a number of levels … I know that I need to move on for me,” she said.

In the lead-up to the 2020 presidential election, CNN temporarily changed its lineup, expanding Jake Tapper’s 4 p.m. program, “The Lead,” to 6 p.m. and pulling Baldwin’s show from the schedule. She returned in November.