By Nicole Bode
DNAinfo Senior Editor
MANHATTAN – CNN anchor Campbell Brown is walking away from her 8 p.m. show, sparking immediate speculation about what might fill her prime-time slot, including suggestions that disgraced former Governor Eliot Spitzer might be part of a "Crossfire-style" panel show.
Brown announced her decision Wednesday, saying she was bowing out because of disappointing ratings.
"The simple fact is that not enough people want to watch my program, and I owe it to myself and to CNN to get out of the way so that CNN can try something else," Brown said, in a straight-talking salvo that earned praise from the online community.
She dismissed suggestions that she was leaving because of management pressure."This is my decision, and one that I have been thinking about for some time," she said in a statement first reported by the Web site Mediaite.
"I could have said, that I am stepping down to spend more time with my children (which I truly want to do)," Brown said in her statement. "Or that I am leaving to pursue other opportunities (which I also truly want to do).
"But I have never had much tolerance for others’ spin, so I can’t imagine trying to stomach my own."
Mediaite reported that four months ago, Brown had asked to be moved out of the 8 p.m. timeslot into a less-competitive 7 p.m. start time, but that CNN management had turned down her request. Mediaite reported. As a result, Brown asked to be released early from her contract, according to the Web site.
She promised to stay on until a replacement is found.
Spitzer's public image has surged in popularity since his resignation in 2008 in the wake of revelations he was a frequent client of a high-priced prostitution ring. He was also the subject of a documentary that debuted in the Tribeca Film Festival last month.
Since then, he's become a media columnist, a professor at some of the city's top universities and a frequent pundit on television.
Spitzer denied the rumors, as did CNN, the Examiner said.