Nancy Grace, who parlayed her stint as a successful prosecutor into a two-decade career as one of cable’s most recognizable and controversial figures, will depart HLN, her TV home for the past 12 years, when her current contract expires in October.
Grace, 56, broke the news Thursday morning to her staff of 18 — some of whom have been working with her since the late 1990s, when she got her start co-hosting on Court TV with the late Johnnie Cochran, at the network’s CNN Center headquarters in Atlanta, where Grace shoots the majority of her shows. New York-based staffers learned of her departure simultaneously via video conference call.
Grace first informed CNN executive vp Ken Jautz, the same man who lured her to the fledgling network, then called CNN Headline News, back in 2005, of her decision in early June. “At the end of my meeting with Ken, I gave him a big hug and he hugged me back. It was like full circle,” Grace says, adding that Jautz is making every effort to “try to relocate everybody” on her staff. “That was a big concern.”
“Nancy has worked tirelessly on behalf of the missing and exploited for more than a decade on HLN,” says Jautz. “She gave a voice to the voiceless, and we are extremely grateful for her contributions to the network. During her remarkable career at HLN, she led the coverage of two of this century’s most talked about and infamous trials, Casey Anthony and Jodi Arias. We will always be champions of Nancy’s mission and are excited to see what’s next for her.”
While her ratings are nowhere near the staggering highs of years past — her afternoon broadcast following the reading of famed filicide suspect Anthony’s not-guilty verdict on July 5, 2011, drew 4.57 million viewers — the lightning-rod legal crusader remains the most-watched and talked-about personality on HLN, averaging 291,000 viewers in May. But that’s only enough to rank her show 42nd out of all cable news programs, two spots behind Fox News’ Red Eye, which airs weekdays at 3 a.m.
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Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy: HLN
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