Everyone loves Candy Crowley. That’s a common, unflinching refrain among CNN staff whenever the soon-to-be ex-CNNer’s name pops up. Seriously — there’s no one who doesn’t take to Candy. Except for, of course, CNN Executive President Jeff Zucker, who sources say was contemplating the 65-year-old’s exit strategy from the get go.
CNN congressional correspondent Dana Bash, however, reveals another side to Crowley, a woman who became her mentor and friend when she was a “green producer” at the network 16 years ago. In fact, Bash writes in a recent essay posted on CNN.com, “For most of us, Candy represents the soul of CNN.” Which is an interesting way to put it since Zucker essentially wanted to be rid of her and she wanted to be rid of Zucker. So then, is Zucker killing off “the soul” of CNN? Or perhaps just tweaking it?
Citing a golf ball detail that Candy wanted from the home of Jacob Chestnut, a slain Capitol Hill police officer, Bash calls her the “best writer in television news.”
But it wasn’t just Candy’s skills that Bash admired — it was that the older journalist reached out to her after Oprah said so.
“Candy has been a mentor to me for at least 15 years, since the day she called me out of the blue and said ‘Hi, I was just watching Oprah, and she says women need to reach back and help younger women coming up, so, like, um, do you want to have coffee?'” Bash writes.
In the piece, Bash spent some 11 graphs detailing Candy’s impressive career highlights and accolades.
She then answered the burning question some want to know: Why is she leaving?
According to Bash, “The answer is simple, and it’s the real deal: She is ready. Anyone who knows Candy, as I am privileged to, knows she has been thinking more and more about making a change for some time. She is at the top of her game, but is ready to try new things.”
Yes, new things that don’t include the name Jeff Zucker.