CNN Recruits NBC’s Brown


CNN said Monday that NBC anchor Campbell Brown will join the all-news network in September, but CNN executives refused to say which time slot Brown will fill.

Brown is expected to take over the 8 p.m. weeknight slot occupied by CNN anchor Paula Zahn, but CNN president Jon Klein wouldn’t say Monday whether Zahn will be leaving the network.

“We want to go about all of this in just the right way. We’ll be disclosing more details pretty shortly, over the next several days, weeks and months,” Klein told reporters on a conference call.

Brown, an 11-year veteran of NBC News, worked as an anchor on Weekend Today and correspondent on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.

While Klein wouldn’t confirm whether Zahn is the anchor Brown will replace at CNN, he said the person Brown will replace with a one-hour interview show has been informed of the move, adding that additional CNN staffers needed to be notified of the scheduling changes before the network makes an official announcement.

“There are things to work out -- show staffs, producers -- a lot of big parts,” Klein said. “We want to wait for the most appropriate time.”

After Brown joins CNN’s primetime lineup in September, she plans to leave the anchor desk a few months later to go on maternity leave. Campbell told reporters Monday that she is expecting her first child in December, but that she hopes to be back to work by Feb. 5 to cover the Presidential primary elections.

Brown told NBC viewers Monday that she was leaving the network. Klein said CNN sealed a deal with Brown Friday.

Although Klein said CNN still isn’t ready to detail how Brown will impact its primetime scheduling, he added that Brown’s public disclosure that she was leaving NBC prompted Monday’s announcement that she signed with CNN.

“We didn’t want to remain cute after Campbell said goodbye on the air,” Klein said.