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 AJR  The Beat

From AJR,   December 2001  issue

Signing Off   

CNN's "TalkBack Live" host Bobbie Battista bails out of the business after 26 years in TV news.

By Kathryn S. Wenner
Kathryn S. Wenner, a former AJR associate editor, is a copy editor at the Washington Post.     

"TalkBack Live" host and longtime news anchor Bobbie Battista leaves CNN and the news business. "After 26 years of doing live TV every day, I'm just tired," says Battista, 49. Plus, she says, "My worst nightmare was staying at the party too long." Battista plans to do media consulting--advising politicians, corporate leaders and lawyers on how to communicate on television and before live audiences, advice she says she's given "a lot of young newscasters" over the years. She wants to keep her hand in television, "something other than news...like the History Channel." After 17 years anchoring CNN news shows, Battista spent the last three years hosting the daytime show "TalkBack Live," with a studio audience, guests and viewer input via phone, fax and the Internet. CNN was "a journalist's dream come true," says Battista, who spent six years at WRAL-TV in Raleigh as that market's first female coanchor. "The Berlin Wall fell during my shift."