Banfield Out at NBC, MSNBC

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Ashleigh Banfield's NBC days are done.

The correspondent, well-known for her tortoiseshell glasses and panned for dying her blond hair dark brown before shipping out to cover the war in Afghanistan, is exiting the broadcast network and cable net MSNBC. "Regrettably, we were unable to agree on a new assignment for her," said an NBC News spokeswoman. Banfield didn't make any friends at NBC after she gave a speech last spring criticizing media coverage of the war in Iraq.

The Canadian-born Banfield, who got her start at MSNBC, became a rising star at NBC News after Sept. 11, when she reported for days from Lower Manhattan. That led to plum overseas postings and her own show on MSNBC. After the cable net pulled that show for low ratings, Banfield shifted over to the mothership to be a correspondent.

As recently as last week, she was in the field for NBC News, reporting from Pakistan on the hunt for Osama bin Laden's number two, Ayman al-Zawahiri.

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