Race or Ethnicity: White
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: CNN Live Today
Daryn Kagan was raised in an upper-class neighborhood with a view of the Pacific Ocean. She attended Beverly Hills High School, where she ran cross country on the junior varsity team, then went to Stanford, where she earned a dual degree in communications and American studies. After graduation, she says she sent out "hundreds of audition tapes," and was hired at KEYT-TV in Santa Barbara, where she covered news but did not get along with management.
She then moved to Phoenix, where she spent five years at KTVK-TV working first as a news reporter, then -- at her request -- as the weekend morning sportscaster. In Arizona, she was noted for having two three-legged cats (Tripod and Ilene) and for scoring an interview with then-celebrity Bo Jackson by working out with him for six weeks. Her big break came when her agent suggested a shorter hairstyle, and two weeks after premiering her new look she got the call from CNN.
At Cable News Network, she covered sports until being transferred to CNN/Sports Illustrated, the now-defunct cable sports channel that tried to compete with ESPN. She worked the desk for Sports Tonight and Sports Latenight, and filed field reports on figure skating and the NBA playoffs. When she returned to CNN, she hosted People in the News and anchored Live This Morning, before chairing CNN's Live Today midday newscast. Among her journalistic highlights at CNN, she anchored CNN's pre-Oscars telecast, and tagged along with Bono and Paul O'Neill on their tour of famished Africa.
In 2004, after David Letterman's Late Show aired hilarious footage of a speech by President Bush with a young boy in the background repeatedly yawning, it was Kagan who went on CNN the next day, reporting that the video was a fake and the boy had been edited in. Letterman protested that the video was utterly real, and had the sleepy child appear on his show. CNN issued two corrections, first claiming that White House sources had told them the video was fake, then -- after White House complaints -- reporting that Kagan had simply "misspoke."
For at least her last two years at CNN, Kagan discreetly dated conservative megamouth Rush Limbaugh. They reportedly broke up in 2006, shortly after he referred on his broadcast to an affair with an un-named "mistress in Georgia." CNN's headquarters is in Atlanta, Georgia.
In 2006, then-43-year-old Kagan left CNN to launch her own "happy news" website, billed as "One woman, one radical idea: The world is a good place. Stop in for daily information to improve your world."
Mother: Phyllis (breast cancer survivor)
Boyfriend: Rush Limbaugh (dated 2004-06)
High School: Beverly Hills High School, Beverly Hills, CA (1981)
University: BA Communication and American studies, Stanford University (1985)
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