CNN anchor Campbell Brown has become an expert in mold.
Â She’s had no choice.
Â Just before the inauguration, and after months of struggling with her baby’s unexplained illness, Campbell, her child and her husband, Dan Senor, were forced to flee their mold-ridden apartment without their belongings.
Â “When something like this happens,” Brown told the Daily News, “you become an expert in toxic mold. But I certainly realized how fortunate that I am, in this economic climate, that we had the ability to get out. When they said, ‘You need to get your baby and get out now,’ we were able to get out.”
Â She’s been dealing with the housing issue – she and her family have been in a hotel since January – while anchoring a nightly show during what has been a huge news cycle.
Â And never once did she let her problems at home infiltrate her work.
Â “I do think, in many ways, [work] was a diversion,” she said.
Â Last September, her son, Eli James (now 14 months old), developed a cold that wouldn’t end.
Â “It was crazy to me,” Brown said. “The doctors couldn’t figure it out. I would get home at 9:30 or 10, and he would wake himself up with these horrible coughing attacks.”
Â But Brown noticed two days into a trip to Florida, the symptoms stopped.
Â Later, she spotted something on the wall of their apartment that looked odd. After some research, she was convinced it was mold – and her son was showing the symptoms of exposure.
Mold specialists confirmed her findings and had them leave. Once they were out, her son immediately got better.
Â “It was the not knowing – and as a mother, to know something’s wrong with your child, you instinctly feel, this wasn’t right,” she said. “Finding out, there was a great sense of relief.”
Â Brown joined CNN in fall 2007 after an 11-year-run with NBC. She began anchoring the nightly “
.” She went on maternity leave in December, and returned in March 2008 to anchor “Campbell Brown: No Bias, No Bull,” a nightly, hourlong show. Like most, it became focused on the election, and now the new administration and the economy. Election Center
Â Airing at 8 p.m., the show faces Fox News‘ dominant “The O’Reilly Factor” and “Countdown” on MSNBC.
Â Brown said she’s had to show more of herself to be competitive in the cable news field.
Â “You have to be willing to open yourself up a little more to find an audience,” she said, “and you have to be willing to push the envelope a little bit.” And she’s done that on-air, while dealing with turmoil off-camera.
Â The couple still don’t have all of their belongings back, but they expect to move into a new apartment as soon as this weekend. Brown is due with their second child in early April. Roland Martin will sub for her while she’s away.
Â “That’s the beauty of our jobs. … you have a deadline every day,” she said of balancing work and her home crisis. “Was it a challenge? On certain days, certainly. But we have a great team of people and they’ve been really supportive.”