Daryn Kagan: Getting a Haircut Got Her Into CNN

Former CNN anchor Daryn Kagan reveals her trick to moving from local to national cable TV: cutting her flowing curls into a pixie hairdo.


Former CNN anchor Daryn Kagan has a message for budding national TV talent: It doesn’t matter where you went to school or how long your résumé is. Age, beauty, and even a cool haircut are the secrets to success. In her first book from her new and inspirational news adventure, DarynKagan.com, the brown-haired beauty tells the story of how she went from being a local reporter in Phoenix to CNN, which unceremoniously pushed her out two years ago. She recalls working overtime in Phoenix and building her résumé but finding no takers on the national stage. "I was applying for both reporting and news jobs," she wrote. "I didn’t have a single nibble. And no one would tell me why," she pens in What’s Possible, which we’ll have more on later this week, including an interview in which she discusses her plans to return to TV. Her Phoenix pal, a blond anchor, then suggested that Kagan talk to local agent Jean Sage. So she sent Sage an audition tape, and the response was swift and blunt: Trim and straighten the natural poodle curls, seen in the left picture. "Cut your hair. You’ll be shocked how fast you get a job," Kagan recalls Sage telling her. Naturally, Kagan snapped back. "A haircut? Lady, I went to Stanford, I’ve won Emmy awards, I’m working seven days a week, and you’re telling me it’s a haircut?" So Kagan threw the dice and had her curls cut into a pixie. "Two weeks later, CNN hired me as a sports anchor," she penned. "Talk about dreams coming true."