ATLANTA: Longtime CNN newscaster Bobbie Battista wrapped up her
career at the network last week to launch a second career as a PR
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
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.