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Banfield bags gig as Court TV anchor

Journo scores daytime shift at cable net

NEW YORK — Former NBC news “it” girl Ashleigh Banfield will join the on-air team at Court TV as a network anchor.

Banfield, who first appeared on the net in April, will serve as a guest host for various daytime programs, including “Open Court” and “Catherine Crier Live.”

Banfield previously served as both a correspondent and anchor at NBC News and its sister cable network, MSNBC. Banfield, who joined the net in 2000, became something of an overnight news celeb during her coverage of the U.S. war against Afghanistan after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on Gotham and Washington. She was given her own primetime show on MSNBC, “On Location,” in 2002, but the program was short-lived.

In April 2003 Banfield reportedly angered top NBC management while delivering the Landon Lecture at Kansas State U. The controversial speech by the correspondent, who said there is no room on cable TV for real news and that the biz failed miserably in its war coverage, “deeply disappointed” the news net (Daily Variety, April 27, 2003).

Banfield left NBC after her contract ran out in early 2004.

“(NBC and I) couldn’t come up with a show that we liked and agreed on,” Banfield said. “I have the utmost respect for Jeff Zucker. I left on good terms with him, but at the time we couldn’t figure out what would work for both of us, so I left amicably.”

Since her departure from the news net, Banfield married and is expecting her first child this fall.

Before her time at the Peacock, Banfield was a news anchor for Fox affiliate KDFW Dallas. She also freelanced as an associate producer in Russia for ABC’s “World News Tonight.”

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