CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin is opening up about gender disparities on the network as she gets ready to leave her "dream job" after more than a decade.
"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 [and] the highest-paid, are men," the 41-year-old said on Ms. Magazine's "On The Issues With Michele Goodwin" podcast, and said she wants "more women in the room."
"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."
"Little by little, by having women in places of power — and I would argue behind-the-scenes, not just in front, but behind-the-scenes — that is how you then have stories that reflect who they are," she said, adding that "it's getting better but we still have a bit of a ways to go."
Baldwin’s grievances tie in with a 2018 study by The Wrap which found that CNN had less female anchors in visible on-air roles than its competitors such as Fox News and MSNBC. The report found that CNN had half as many solo female anchors on weekdays compared to Fox and MSNBC who had six each and had none on primetime evening hours between 8 p.m and 11 p.m.
In February, Baldwin announced that she would leave CNN in April after 13 years with the network but does not have anything specific lined up and left because she felt too "comfortable."
"I, in spending all this time with all these trailblazing women and these huddles, I cannot hold space with them and not be the bravest version of myself," she explained to Yahoo Entertainment.
In fact, Baldwin plans on being walked to the CNN door with women by her side after she held a "huddle" when it came to deciding that it was time for a fresh start.
"They were obviously with me throughout all of the ups and downs and moments in my life, the latter years of my career," she gushed about her gal pals. "They fully support me."
"Huddling is when women lean on one another," Baldwin explained of the concept in her new book Huddle: How Women Unlock Their Collective Power. "Huddling is below the surface. It's not loud. It's an idea of a quiet movement of women just committing to each other, having each other's backs to sponsoring each other at work.
Baldwin will wrap up with CNN on April 16.