'A profound privilege': An emotional Brooke Baldwin bids audiences farewell on last day at CNN

Rasha Ali, USA TODAY
·3 min read

Brooke Baldwin is saying her final farewells as a host of "CNN Newsroom."

After spending her last two hours on air covering top news items from the Derek Chauvin trial to President Biden's refugee cap, and Prince Philip's funeral to the Minneapolis protests over Daunte Wright's shooting, Baldwin dedicated the last 15 minutes of "CNN Newsroom" to her departure.

"I am filled with emotion and gratitude," Baldwin said, noting her fellow anchors and crew have a video for her that she's never seen before.

Following the commercial break, a montage of her interviews and coverage from the past decade played with the chyron reading "Brooke's Last Day: Celebrating Brooke Baldwin's 10+ years at CNN."

"This job, my show here at CNN, was not originally supposed to be mine," Baldwin said, sharing a "little secret" that she was only supposed to fill in for a week until the network found an anchor. "I have kept this seat warm for nearly 11 years."

She continued: "This job, using my voice for over a decade has been nothing short of a profound privilege."

Baldwin, 41, shared her gratitude to her "CNN family" and the viewers who've been watching her.

"To you at home, thank you. Thank you for trusting me thank you for holding me accountable. Thank you for all the love," an emotional Baldwin said. "And to you, my CNN family. My CNN huddle, this is the hardest part. Thank you for making me better. Thank you for pushing me."

She ended her farewell by calling for more diverse voices in journalism both in the field and in the executive suites.

"Get a little uncomfortable. Speak up. And keep pushing," Baldwin ended. "I'm Brooke Baldwin here in New York and I cannot wait to have you join me on our journey together."

Baldwin also interviewed Atlanta rapper Killer Mike, noting he was the one person she knew she wanted to have on the show on her final day. The rapper, real name Michael Santiago Render, discussed gun violence and Black people dying at the hands of police.

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Baldwin announced her departure in February during her afternoon show saying she would be stepping away from news and would be leaving the cable news network in April.

Last week, the longtime anchor revealed that one of the main reasons she would be walking away from her CNN gig was because she was beginning to feel too comfortable.

"The second you get really, really comfortable somewhere after a long period of time, it's time to move on," Baldwin said in an interview with Yahoo Entertainment.

The anchor recalled her dad saying "being uncomfortable is a great thing" and she has kept those words in mind. She said that although "it's hard to move on from something so comfortable," she has "sacrificed" a lot of her social life and "was very alone" for a lot of her younger years.

Contributing: Maria Puente and Elise Brisco

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Brooke Baldwin's final day at CNN: Host gets emotional saying goodbye