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Campbell Brown steps down as CNN anchor

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campbell_brown-cnnCiting low viewership, Campbell Brown announced today that she will no longer anchor her own show for CNN. “I knew on the day that I accepted my job at CNN that a ratings victory at 8 pm was going to be a formidable challenge,” she said in a statement. “As I have been told over and over, this is the toughest timeslot in cable news. That is obviously due to the incredible talents of my 8 pm competitors. I have also always marveled whenever a television anchor says that he or she pays no attention to ratings. I’m pretty sure the last time any anchor could honestly ignore ratings was well before I was born. Of course I pay attention to ratings. And simply put, the ratings for my program are not where I would like them to be. It is largely for this reason that I am stepping down as anchor of CNN’s Campbell Brown.

“To be clear:  this is my decision, and one that I have been thinking about for some time,” Brown continued. “As for why, I could have said, that I am stepping down to spend more time with my children (which I truly want to do). Or that I am leaving to pursue other opportunities (which I also truly want to do). But I have never had much tolerance for others’ spin, so I can’t imagine trying to stomach my own. The simple fact is that not enough people want to watch my program, and I owe it to myself and to CNN to get out of the way so that CNN can try something else. CNN will have to figure out what that is. The 8pm hour in cable news world is currently driven by the indomitable Bill O’Reilly, Nancy Grace and Keith Olbermann. Shedding my own journalistic skin to try to inhabit the kind of persona that might co-exist in that line up is simply impossible for me. It is not who I am or who I want to be; nor is it who CNN asked me to be at any point. This is the right decision for me and I hope it will be a great opportunity for CNN.”

Brown said she plans to help CNN through the transition period. It’s unclear how her show will be replaced or when she’ll anchor her last broadcast. “Today is about Campbell, said CNN President Jon Klein in a statement. “We want to wish her well as she begins the next phase of her life. We respect her decision to leave. We will announce our programming plans in the coming weeks.”