Ashleigh Banfield anchors the 11 a.m. edition of "CNN Newsroom" each weekday, and "Crime and Justice" Monday through Thursday from 6-8pm. Banfield joined the network in 2012 as co-anchor of CNN's morning show "Early Start" with Ashleigh Banfield and Zoraida Sambolin. Over the course of her career, she has covered breaking news from across the country and around the globe.
Most recently, she was a correspondent for ABC News, reporting for "Good Morning America," "20/20," "World News" with Diane Sawyer and "Nightline." Prior to ABC, Banfield anchored and hosted three programs on TruTV (formerly Court TV) including a daily legal news program "Banfield and Ford: Courtside"; the weekly evening show "Hollywood Heat"; and the successful prime time special series that she created and co-produced, "Disorder in the Court." In 2008, the Gracie Allen Awards named her Outstanding Anchor, recognizing her achievement at Court TV and her "Banfield and Ford: Courtside" program coverage of the Rhode Island Nightclub Fire earned a Telly in 2007.
As a correspondent for NBC News from 2000-2004, Banfield reported for "The Today Show," "NBC Nightly News" with Tom Brokaw and "Dateline." Banfield covered the terrorist attacks of September 11th reporting live from the World Trade Center in New York City, which earned her Emmy Award recognition. After eight consecutive days at Ground Zero, Banfield departed for Islamabad, Pakistan to begin covering the War on Terror. From September 2001 to January 2004, she reported live from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, England, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Saudi Arabia. This work earned Banfield and team a National Headliner Award.
During this time, she also anchored several prime time series on MSNBC, including "A Region In Conflict" and "Ashleigh Banfield: On Location." She hosted these programs LIVE from locations around the globe, covering breaking news stories that included the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; the conflict in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza; and the abduction of Elizabeth Smart in Salt Lake City. In addition, she reported on the crash of the Concorde on location in France, the 2000 presidential election and the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.
Her most noted interviews include Yasser Arafat, Israeli Prime Ministers Ehud Barak and Shimon Peres, Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, members of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, Saudi Prince Al Faisal, Laura Bush, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Martha Stewart, John McCain, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jane Fonda, Ben Stiller, Rosie O'Donnell, Donald Trump and Hugh Grant.
Prior to MSNBC, Banfield served as the evening news anchor for KDFW-TV, the FOX affiliate in Dallas. While there, she received her first Emmy Award for "Best News Anchor" for her coverage on "Cadet Killer" and a Texas Associate Press Award for the series "To Serve and Survive." Banfield also worked at Canada's CICT-TV, as a producer from 1992-93 and from 1993-95 as their evening news anchor and business correspondent. In 1994, Banfield earned two IRIS awards for the "Best News Documentary" and "Best of Festival" categories, where she chronicled the life of a homeless man.
Before, and during, her tenure at CICT-TV, Banfield freelanced as an associate producer for ABC's "World News Tonight," where she covered the 1991 Bush/Gorbachev Summit in Russia and the 1992 Clinton/Yeltsin Summit in Vancouver.
Banfield received a bachelor's degree in political studies and French from Queen's University in Ontario, Canada. In 1992, she continued her language education in an Advanced French Studies program at the University of British Columbia. Also, she completed the Canadian Securities Course.
Banfield resides in Connecticut with her two young sons.
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