Primetime anchor looking to spend more time with family

Anchor Campbell Brown is leaving CNN.

Brown gave a statement late Tuesday afternoon expressing disappointment that ratings for primetime newsshow “Campbell Brown” were feeble, and felt it was time to allow the net to try something new in the 8 p.m. time-slot.

“The simple fact is that not enough people want to watch my program, and I owe it to myself and to CNN to get out of the way so that CNN can try something else,” she said. “CNN will have to figure out what that is.”

Said CNN topper Jonathan Klein: ‘We want to wish her well as she begins the next phase of her life. We respect her decision to leave. We will announce our programming plans in the coming weeks.”

Hosting her own show at 8 o’clock weeknights, Brown replaced “Paula Zahn Now” more than two years ago and improved the ratings for the cabler, but those numbers are far below her competition.

CNN has seen its overall primetime lineup suffer in comparison with the ratings of its competitors. At 8 p.m. “Campbell Brown” is regularly beaten by Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann. Brown’s show is averaging 591,000 viewers, far lower than 3.3 million for “The O’Reilly Factor”; “Countdown With Keith Olbermann” draws just over a million.At 7 p.m., CNN recently added “John King, USA,” which replaced Lou Dobbs’ show, but King hasn’t been able to provide Brown with any sort of ratings momentum.

It’s unclear when Brown, who is leaving before her contract expired, would exit the net. Brown arrived at CNN in 2008 after spending 11 years at NBC.

Brown, who has two young children, said she will now spend more with her family, but time away from her kids to tend to her duties at the office wasn’t the reason for her departure.

“To be clear: This is my decision, and one that I have been thinking about for some time,” Brown said. “As for why, I could have said that I am stepping down to spend more time with my children (which I truly want to do), or that I am leaving to pursue other opportunities (which I also truly want to do). But I have never had much tolerance for others’ spin, so I can’t imagine trying to stomach my own.”

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