In today's post:
Anne Schroeder from Politico.com 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 LostRemote.com. 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
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.
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!