Brooke Baldwin fought back tears as she anchored her CNN show, CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin, for the last time Friday.
"I am filled with emotion and gratitude," she said after her co-workers surprised her with a video compilation of some of her notable stories.
She explained that her job was initially supposed to be temporary. Baldwin was supposed to be filling in for a week until a permanent host could be found, she said. She ended up staying in that position for 11 years, which she called "a profound privilege."
The author of Huddle: How Women Unlock Their Collective Power thanked her CNN family for pushing her and making her better. She thanked the audience at home for their loyalty.
"To you at home, thank you. Thank you for trusting me thank you for holding me accountable," Baldwin said. "Thank you for all the love."
In her last few moments, Baldwin called for more diversity in all areas of storytelling.
The day was emotional, but Baldwin had a lot of time to prepare for it. She announced her plans to leave back in February.
As the Peabody-nominated journalist told Yahoo Entertainment this month, she came to the decision slowly over the last few years.
"It's going to be hard to walk away. I have to walk away," Baldwin said. "And the main reason is — listen, it's been a total privilege ... but I, in spending all this time with all these trailblazing women and these huddles, I cannot hold space with them and not be the bravest version of myself."
She also credited her father with having told her, "Being uncomfortable is a great thing."
She urged others to take his advice. "Get a little uncomfortable," she told viewers Friday. "Speak up. And keep pushing."
As for what's next, Baldwin said she doesn't know yet.
Her colleagues wished her well.
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