Battista leaves CNN behind to join PR world at Atamira

ATLANTA: Longtime CNN newscaster Bobbie Battista wrapped up her

career at the network last week to launch a second career as a PR

practitioner.



She will be spearheading a new crisis communications and media relations

practice at her husband's event-planning firm.



The firm, Atlanta-based Atamira Productions, conceives and executes

large-scale special events for such clients as BMW, Philip Morris, and

Budweiser.



Battista, who first came to CNN as one of its original anchors in 1981,

and spent the past three years as host of Talkback Live, said she hopes

to parlay her 26 years of broadcasting experience into a wide-ranging

offering of media relations services.



"I'll be dealing with crisis management, the coaching of corporate

executives, politicians, military types, lawyers, and, of course,

newscasters," Battista told PRWeek. "I'll bring my talents to this great

company that already exists and help it find new direction." She added

that her efforts would focus on existing Atamira clients, as well as on

bringing in new business, though she declined to be specific.



Battista doesn't feel her inexperience on the other side of the camera

will hinder her potential PR career. "For the last three years on

Talkback Live, I was talking to 200 Americans every day," she said,

referring to the call-in nature of the program. "Whether it's the

blowout of Ford Explorers, the war, or politicians, I feel like I have a

strong sense of how Americans feel about a lot of things."



CNN has signaled that it will replace Battista on Talkback Live with a

permanent host, but the network did not say who that would be or when a

decision would be made. Other CNN personalities were scheduled to fill

in last week, beginning with Joie Chen and Miles O'Brien.



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