‘Savage News’: Jessica Yellin, Former CNN White House Correspondent, Releases Debut Novel

Jamie McCarthyGetty Images for Samantha Boardman

Jessica Yellin was once a prominent television journalist, serving as CNN’s Chief White House Correspondent from 2011 to 2013. Now, the 46-year-old has released her debut novel, Savage News.

In the political satire from Harlequin‘s Mira imprint, heroine Natalie Savage gets a dream gig covering White House affairs for a major television network. However, the temporary assignment is actually a test — she must prove herself worthy of the job in order to keep it.

Natalie, who is in her 30s, is competing for the position against a spoiled 26-year-old frat boy who rose to fame after eating raw animal parts on a reality TV series. In order to win, she must “navigate ratings wars, workplace sexual harassment, and an international political crisis.” But as she inches closer to her goal, she wonders if the job is really worth it.

“I really wanted to write a book about a woman finding her voice at the workplace, and not through a relationship. I wanted to be raw and realistic about how challenging that can be when you’re trying to succeed but have to do things that don’t match with your internal true north in order to do so,” Yellin told O, The Oprah Magazine.

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It’s pub day!! #SavageNews is for sale. I spent so long writing this I kind of can’t believe it’s out. I wanted to write a novel (instead of non-fiction) to reach an audience of people outside the media/politics bubble. It’s a funny story — all about what it’s like to be a young woman practicing journalism in wild times. There’s a missing First Lady. A reality tv star. Sex. Palace intrigue. Workplace drama. And a few serious messages. Hope you enjoy it and understand the challenges and choices facing the main character, Natalie Savage. Read and let me know what you think!! Link to purchase in bio. And thank you, so much, for kind support through this book release process. I promise to get back to the news full time soon!! #booksofinstagram #bookclubofinstagram #womenauthors #bookstagram #bookclub #reportingwhilefemale #newsnotnoise

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Savage News came out as a hardcover and e-book on April 9, and Yellin celebrated its release at a packed party at The Pool in New York City that evening. According to Page Six, the book launch was attended by celebrities such as Katie Couric, Arianna Huffington, Tory Burch, and John Berman.

While the tales in the tome are fictional, those who read it will have a fun time trying to guess whether the stuff Natalie experiences actually happened to Yellin in real life.

She did reveal one aspect of the book that is very real to The Hollywood Reporter, though.

“In the end, it’s all about your hair,” she said about life as a TV reporter.

In one passage, Natalie is told by the head of her network that her hair is “an eighth of an inch longer on one side than the other,” which Yellin said is based on something that was truly said to her.

Featured image credit: Jamie McCarthyGetty Images for Samantha Boardman

“The amount of attention to your hair cannot be exaggerated,” she elaborated.

Yellin, a Harvard graduate, began writing Savage News in 2015, and has also been delivering the news via Instagram using the hashtag “NewsNotNoise” for her posts. Amy Schumer, Kristen Bell, Debra Messing, Chelsea Handler, and Alex Rodriguez are all reportedly fans of her content. In fact, Schumer announced her pregnancy last October on Yellin’s Instagram page.