Vet anchor Russell ankles CNN

Resignation comes as relaunch approaches

NEW YORK — Veteran CNN Headline News anchor Lynne Russell has resigned after 18 years at the cable net.

Russell was one of the first anchors hired at CNN Headline News after it launched (as CNN2) in 1982. She said she was leaving for personal reasons that had nothing to do with the net’s recent hiring of Andrea Thompson, a former “NYPD Blue” star.

News comes as CNN Headline News is preparing to relaunch in late summer with a format that will feature more live reports (Daily Variety, April 25).

With a higher profile than most CNN anchors, Russell developed a cult following over the years. Author of “How to Win Friends, Kick Ass and Influence People,” Russell once appeared on “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” wearing a little black dress with a gun and holster strapped to her thigh.

Russell’s last day will be Friday. CNN Headline News hasn’t yet decided who will take her spot.

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