Costello broke the news on Monday morning at the beginning of her 9 a.m. “Newsroom” stint, explaining that she made the decision to move her life and career to the West Coast for personal reasons.
“Before I thank you for joining me this morning, I would like to share a big life change with you,” Costello said. “Friday will be my last day at CNN. I’m not leaving the family though, I’ll be heading to Los Angeles to anchor a new show on HLN. This is a personal decision and it was extraordinarily difficult; it was like cutting off my left arm.”
CNN president Jeff Zucker released a statement expressing his “infinite gratitude” toward Costello and congratulating her on the new gig.
“During her more than 15 years with us, Carol has been at the forefront of some of the world’s most significant stories, including the Boston Bombing, Pop Francis’ historic visit, and our coverage of the Iraq war,” Zucker’s statement read. “She is all heart and grace, and the epitome of a seasoned journalist, making her the perfect fit to join HLN’s powerful bench of reporters.”
Costello began her career at CNN as an anchor on “CNN Headline News” and was also the host of “CNN Daybreak” before the show was cancelled in November of 2005. She was later part of CNN’s Peabody Award-winning coverage of Hurricane Katrina and has interviewed three former presidents — Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush. Costello is not the first CNN anchor to make the move out West, as former “Legal View” host Ashleigh Banfield also moved to HLN last August.
Costello concluded the announcement by thanking her viewers and explaining that her husband obtaining a new job at Loyola Marymount University was the biggest contributing factor in her move to Los Angeles.
“Last year my husband snagged a fantastic job in Los Angeles at LMU and I kinda miss him. I don’t want to get too emotional, but I will miss you too,” Costello said, addressing her viewers. “You have made my job easy because you’re so very engaged, you talk to me when you spot me on the street, you yell at me, you hug me and I love that. You fill my social media with your thoughts and you watch, and for that I will be forever grateful.”