But, Berman says hello. On Friday the 13th aptly, Early Start co-anchor Ashleigh Banfield bid adieu to her ratings-challenged early morning show where she has had a short hapless seven-and-half-month stint. When the penultimate segment of that program concluded, Ashleigh dutifully disclosed, “[I]t’s my last day on the show today.” Sympathetically, her guest co-host Alina Cho turned to her, saying, “I know. I didn’t realize that….Sleep in, girlfriend!”
Subsequently, when ES returned from commercial break, Ashleigh, Alina, and their CNN colleague Christine Romans sat together on the set. Bemoaning Ashleigh’s departure like Alina, Christine emotively remarked, “It’s her last morning waking up with us.” Appearing more than ready to move on, in more ways than one, Ashleigh quite quickly and somewhat impassively answered, “I know. I’m very sad to be leaving you but very excited about doing 11 a.m. on, on CNN.”
Assuredly, Ashleigh must feel that her luck may have changed as she gets a second shot at success at CNN from Ken Jautz when he transfers her from EP to AN, hopefully, a more viable vehicle for her personality. As the hyper, chatty Cannuck replaces CNN Newsroom anchor Kyra Phillips, new CNN hire John Berman (whilom ABC veteran journalist) will try his hand at bringing life to the moribund show when he joins co-anchor Zoraida Sambolin Monday. And, John appears more than ready to roll: in fact, he got a head start on Ashleigh’s announcement Friday by creating a quirky introductory video of himself re his facial hair fascination that was posted for ES blog readers before the show.
See you later, Ashleigh. Good luck, John!
[Author’s aside: Interestingly, as Ashleigh did her farewell tour this last week, Zoraida vacationed in Eygpt. Notably, according to Page Six , one of its sources said that the two just did not gel. Perhaps, a compassionate Jautz felt that it was the best way to let Ashleigh save face as she left the struggling show while her co-host Zoraida remained.]