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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Hello, Goodbye

In today's post:

Another CNN correspondent is on the way out the door.

Anne Schroeder from reports that CNN's blog and internet correspondent Jacki Schechner's contract (as of Friday) has not been renewed.

If you're interested in how she got started being an internet correspondent, she did an audio podcast interview with The podcast is available for download here. (You'll need to have either iTunes or QuickTime Player to listen to the podcast.)


CNN's Reliable Sources anchor and Washington Post Staff Writer, Howard Kurtz, interviewed Campbell Brown for an article that he wrote for the Monday's Washington Post. Below are excerpts from the interview:

"Am I nuts?"

Campbell Brown raises the question herself, nursing a Diet Coke -- she's only allowed one a day because of her pregnancy -- at the Mayflower bar.

She has just quit NBC, where she tasted the fruits of fame as a weekend morning host and "Nightly News" backup, to launch a prime-time talk show for CNN. "I know how risky it is. I'd be lying if I said it wasn't scary. But it's also exhilarating, and I miss that feeling."

The arena remains dominated by white men. Other women fronting prime-time cable shows, such as Deborah Norville and Rita Cosby, have come and gone. Barred by her NBC contract from starting until Nov. 1, Brown will be eight months pregnant when she begins the show.

"I'm going to be waddling onto the set," she says. "If people have a problem with women in these jobs, I'll be getting a rude awakening."

The daughter of a former Louisiana secretary of state who spent six months in jail for lying to an FBI investigator -- he was caught up in a broader scandal involving former governor Edwin Edwards -- Brown has a Cajun's spicy approach to life. Friends say she plays as hard as she works.

At 16, Brown was kicked out of the Madeira School in McLean for sneaking off campus to go to a party (which hasn't stopped school officials from constantly inviting her as a speaker). She was a self-described Colorado ski bum while in college, taught English in Czechoslovakia (where she acquired a banana tattoo on her ankle), and worked as an intern at Washington's NewsChannel8 and Montgomery Cable.

After that, the best that Brown could do was a $6-an-hour reporting job at the NBC station in Topeka, Kan. She moved up to the NBC station in Richmond, but "I could not for the life of me get a job in D.C.," Brown says. She finally made it to Baltimore's WBAL and did some freelancing for Washington's WRC before landing a job with NBC's affiliate service, churning out reports for local stations.

Brown's break came in 1998 when she was detailed to MSNBC, covering politics for Brian Williams's cable newscast. As for the broadcast side, she was a young woman in a hurry. "I could not get on 'Nightly News' to save my life," she grouses.

Brown, in a Vera Wang dress, and Senor

Photo by: Denis Reggie


In 2003 Brown packed her bags for New York. She had been tapped as co-host of "Weekend Today" and eventually became Williams's primary substitute on NBC's nightly newscast.

During a reporting trip to Iraq in 2004, Brown found herself at odds with Dan Senor, the spokesman for the U.S. civilian authority. "I wanted access and he didn't want me to have access," she recalls. "We just butted heads a lot."

Back home, she watched Senor's televised news conferences and told friends he was cute. Brown invited him to dinner to discuss foreign policy, and Brokaw somehow got included. That prompted a distress call to Brown's best friend, Washington reporter Anne Kornblut.

"She asked me to come to New York," says Kornblut, now with The Washington Post. "She said, 'I need someone to distract Brokaw so I can flirt with Dan.' "

It must have worked; the two tied the knot a year later, in what was Brown's second marriage. Senor now works at an investment fund and is a Fox News commentator. "These are two very ambitious, high-profile people," Dickerson says.


And finally tonight, this update on Soledad O'Brien from USA Weekend.

What happened to Soledad O'Brien, who co-anchored CNN's "American Morning?"

Cheryl Clark, Southfield, Mich.

She still works for CNN. O'Brien, 40, has been anchoring CNN specials, like the presidential forum on faith and values last month, and is working on documentaries, including "Children of the Storm," to air through the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. She tells us she enjoys waking up later, and she added yoga to her still-hectic schedule.

Thanks to Blade for the tip!


Christy said...

Well Darn, I like Jacki. She is fun on A.M. Hmph. I don't know what to think. Maybe they are just really cutting back and think that other correspondants can pick up her slack. I wish her well. I may just have to march myself to the CNN Center in Atlanta and find out what is going on!
I can't wait to see Campbell in action. I really like her!
and thanks for the update on Soladad, I am still not over loosing her on A.M but I am glad she is enjoying her work.

Purple Tie said...

I don't know much about Campbell Brown so it'll be interesting to see her once she gets started.

I really so miss Soledad... I was kind of hoping she'd get a prime time gig at CNN, but I guess not.

Thanks for the update!

Evelyn said...

wow CNN is just getting rid of people left and right aren't they? that's really too bad about Jacki, I too enjoyed her little internet reports. i guess i did notice they started using Abbi Tatton more on TSA.

I don't know anything about Campbell Brown so I guess I don't know what to expect. I look forward to seeing what she brings to CNN.

Soledad sounds like she still has plenty to do at CNN! I don't blame her, I hate mornings too :)

Anonymous said...

I remember Soledad said in an interview that she's doing seven documentaries, they've shown three so four more. Growing Up Diana is next, its on Aug 18th. Also I just googled her name and I read that she's getting honored by The women’s division of SCLC. Here's the article

Eunice said...

Hello new here and I just want to share what Soledad said in an interview, she said she's doing seven documentaries, I've seen three so four more to go. Growing Up Diana is next, it's going to be on Aug. 18th. Also I google her name for news and it said that she's being honored by the SCLC.

Here's the article

Phebe said...

I liked Jacki too and am really surprise she was shown the door. As for Campbell, I'm taking a wait and see attitude, sort of like I did with Kiran. And we all know how that turned out. Thanks for the great info BA.

Sapphire said...

oh I will miss Jacki, I really like her. Good luck to Jacki in any future endeavours.

Great post BA!!!!!

Blade said...

Hi BA:

Thanks for the post on Soledad! Sorry, I was so late in my response. I have been traveling extensively.

Hey, Soledad is subbing for Anderson!