CNN weekend anchor Christi Paul announced on Sunday that she would be leaving her job as the cable news network’s weekend anchor.
Expressing a sentiment that seems to be much more common these days, particularly in the news media business, Paul said that she was “tired of being tired.” She plans now to move back to her home state of Ohio to pursue a more relaxed and simpler life.
“I am part of the Great Resignation,” she explained during her final broadcast.
The tipping point for Paul seems to have been—as it has been for many people—her experiences over the past two years. It started when her husband was hospitalized with COVID-19.
“It was really bad for about three and half weeks and there were moments when I thought I was going to be a single mom,” she said. “Especially when I had to take him to the ER.”
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) June 26, 2022
Her husband’s hospitalization was just the beginning. Things only got worse as the pandemic continued—including the fact that she couldn’t see her parents for a year. Paul’s grueling schedule as a weekend anchor—which meant having to get into work by 1 AM on Saturday and Sunday mornings—didn’t help things, either.
“At some point my husband and I looked at each other and said ‘What are we doing? We need to get back home,”’ she said.
That’s about the time that Paul and her husband decided to return to Ohio. Paul is originally from Bellevue, so it was a natural move. She’ll be moving into an on-air job, presumably at a local station in her home state. But the stress of juggling her demanding job in Atlanta and finding time for her family was too much to endure, and it was time to make a choice between the two.
The choice was an easy one.
“I’m going home to Ohio. I will be on the air,” Paul promised
Nevertheless, she has nothing but kind things to say about her old network and coworkers.
“I love these people, I love this place,’ she said. “And I am so tired. I’m so exhausted. I just could just not be who I need to be for my family. I’m tired of being tired.”
Paul’s career took a long and winding road before she ended up at CNN. She started out as a beauty pageant contestant, snagging third place at the Miss Ohio contest in 1993. Afterward, she worked in Phoenix and Boise before finding a gig with CNN.
Paul’s previous marriage, to a broadcast reporter in West Virginia, ended over what she claims was his abusive behavior. This period in her life later prompted Paul to write a book titled “Love Isn’t Supposed to Hurt.”
Paul’s departure couldn’t come at a worse time for CNN, which is in the midst of a rebranding attempt following its sinking ratings. Jeff Zucker, the man most responsible for the network’s partisan shift—when it featured wall-to-wall anti-Trump and anti-conservative propaganda—has been ousted, and the new network head, Chris Licht, has promised to tone things done and try to recapture a more neutral spirit.
Christi Paul was one of the few remaining anchors at the network who hailed from its earlier, somewhat less partisan incarnation.
“At the end of the day, someone is going to sit in this seat and I’m going to leave and the show will go on as it should,’ she explained in her farewell broadcast.
“But nobody else is going to be my kids’ mom. And nobody else is going to be my husband’s wife or my parents’ children and I need to be fully, fully present there. And it’s been hard,” she said.
“This has been the ride of my life,” she added, before ending with her signature sign-off: “Go make good memories. I mean it.”
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