Christine Romans, a CNN anchor for 24 years, is leaving the network. This news arrives as the network undergoes major restructuring to reinvigorate its content and viewership.
Since joining CNN in 1999, Romans has risen to prominence. As chief business journalist, host of the Early Start morning show, and expert commentator on everything from the stock market to the presidency, she gained widespread recognition.
Six presidential elections, the dot-com boom, the September 11 attacks, the housing bubble, the financial crisis, and a global pandemic all occurred during Romans’ time at CNN.
“She is CNN,” said emotional colleague Poppy Harlow during Romans’ final broadcast. “Christine has been an integral part of not just this team, but this network. Her departure will be deeply felt.”
Romans’ final show featured a retrospective of her reporting and interviews that she had enjoyed most throughout her career. Romans were appreciative of her stint on CNN even after she left. As Romans put it, “I am full of gratitude for the 24 years here,” Romans said. “This has been an amazing place to work, and I’ve learned so much.”
During Romans’ final show, her colleague Poppy Harlow exclaimed tearfully, “She is CNN.” “Christine has been an indispensable member of this group and this system. The loss of her presence will be profound.
Leaving Romans behind is part of a larger shakeup at CNN as the network attempts to reclaim its foothold in the increasingly competitive cable news industry. However, the resignation of a prominent player like Romans suggests a substantial shift in the network’s direction, especially in the wake of the unexpected departure of CEO Chris Licht.
These shifts can be understood against the background of CNN’s viewership numbers. CNN’s TV ratings have been steadily falling for years. With a 24% drop from February 2022 to February 2023, CNN’s ratings hit a 10-year low that month.
Romans did not share her plans for the future with her coworkers, but she did reassure them that she is still a “super CNN fan.” Her retirement is a significant loss for CNN because she has been an integral part of the network’s development over the past two decades.