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Campbell Brown Quits CNN Amid Falling Ratings

May 18 2010, Published 4:20 a.m. ET

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CNN’s prime-time host Campbell Brown has fallen on her own sword amid plummeting ratings at the besieged cable network. Brown issued a statement late on Tuesday, obtained by, in which she insisted the decision to quit was her own.

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“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,” Brown, a working mother of two, said.

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“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 8pm competitors.

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“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.

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“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.”

Brown repeatedly trailed her television rivals Bill O’Reilly of FOX and MSNBC's Keith Olbermann in what is considered the most difficult slot in cable news.

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Nielsen’s ratings show that Brown attracted an average of 591,000 viewers so far this year, compared with “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” which averaged 1.03 million and Fox’s The O’Reilly Factor, which dominated the slot, with an average 3.34 million.

It’s unclear how her show will be replaced or when she’ll anchor her last broadcast.

“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,” Brown said.

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“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.”

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Brown became a first-time mom during the 2008 presidential campaign and in the process, her public persona transitioned from hard-line CNN's savvy political analyst to working supermom.



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