How Did Bobbie Battista Die? Former CNN Anchor Dead At 67

She worked at CNN not long after it started.

How Did Bobbie Battista Die? Former CNN Anchor Dead At 67

Bobbie Battista was one of the first anchors on CNN back when the idea of a 24-hour news network was revolutionary. During her nearly two decades behind the anchor desk there she covered events ranging from the Challenger disaster to 9/11. She passed away this week at the age of 67.

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Battista started her career in local news in North Carolina before taking a job at CNN Headline News in 1981. By 1988, she had moved over to the main station and anchored a number of different programs, including TalkBack Live, which aired in front of an audience from the CNN center lobby in Atlanta. 

Since 2001, she has been working as a media consultant. She even did a stint at The Onion, doing videos where she read news satire pieces.

How did Bobbie Batista die? Read on for all the details. 

1. Bobbie Battista started out working for local radio and television.

Barbara Ann "Bobbie" Battista grew up in New Jersey and went on to study journalism at Northwestern University. She spent her early career working in North Carolina where she started out at a country music radio station in Fuquay-Varina. From there, she became the anchor and producer of Action News 5 for WRAL-TV in Raleigh in 1976. She would later say that her experience in college and small-town news was instrumental to her career and she recommended both to young journalists. "You must go to college,” she said in 2001. “You must major in either political science or broadcast journalism. You’ll have to be willing to go to a small town somewhere and do your time in the trenches. There’s a lot of competition, and you have to work your way up.”


In 1981, Battista helped write and produce Fed up with Fear, a five-station documentary that won a George Foster Peabody Award

2. She joined CNN in 1981.

CNN was a new idea in the early the 1980s and it was the first 24-hour cable news network. Battista joined the operation in 1981, working at CNN Headline News. By 1988, she had moved to the main network, where she anchored a number of programs CNN WorldDay, CNN NewsDay, CNN NewsHour, CNN Daybreak (during Gulf War), CNN PrimeNews, CNN WorldNews and TalkBack Live

3. "We've had some serious shows and some fun shows."

As a news anchor, Battista had to report on some of the most historical events of the day, including the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, the first Gulf War, and the September 11 terrorist attacks. In looking back over her career she noted that those events stood out in her memory. "Whether the Challenger explosion, the assassination attack on Reagan, the Gulf War, certainly this terrorist attack. Those were memorable from the anchor desk," Battista said. "As far as TalkBack, we've had some serious shows, and some fun shows. If I had to pick, I'd say I liked Free for All Fridays the best."



A post shared by John Brimelow (@johnmbrimelow) on Sep 2, 2018 at 4:09am PDT

Battista with her family. 


4. In 2009, she started doing fake news.

In 2001, when CNN parent Time Warner merged with AOL, Battista left the network to pursue other opportunities. She went to work as a strategic consultant at her husband John Brimelow's firm, Atamira Communications. She also got back behind the anchor desk to deliver fake news in a real way for The Onion. When the site launched their video platform Onion News Network, they asked Battista to play the anchor there and she went along with it, partly because she wanted to poke fun at the state of cable news at the time. “You watch the news today, and you don’t know what is real,” she said in 2009. “When I was doing newscasts at CNN, people would come up to me and say, ‘That story can’t be real.’ Now the lines are really getting blurred.” She mentioned a recent segment she saw about “lingerie football” on a cable news show. “My mouth was hanging open. How does this belong on the news?”

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5. How did Bobbie Batista die? She passed away this week at the age of 67 from cervical cancer.

Battista had been battling cervical cancer for four years before her death according to a statement from her husband. "Bobbie was the consummate trooper in her struggle with cancer, she was courageous and fearless in her battle and thoughtful for all the others in her life even as she fought through the pain,” Brimelow told CNN in a statement. “My dear partner of 25 years of marriage has cut her earthly bonds and is now in peace.”

6. Fans and colleagues have been sharing memories on social media. 

There has been an outpouring of sadness over the news of her death today. Fellow CNN reporter Mark McKay tweeted, "When I came to ATL to work @CNN Headline Sports in 1985 I told Bobbie that I used to watch her & Charlie Gaddy @WRAL growing up in Fayetteville. She smiled & begrudgingly said: “thanks” . I smile today thankful that I was honored to be able to call Bobbie Battista a colleague." Science journalist Miles O'Brien wrote, "This breaks my heart. I loved her. Working with her a treat — and always fun. I will treasure the friendship and the laughter."  CNN correspondent Karen Finney wrote, "I used to love watching Bobbie Battista! Rest In Peace."


Bobbie Battista is survived by her husband and step-daughter. 

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Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. She is the creator of the blog FeminXer and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.