Soledad O’Brien will form her own production company, Starfish Media Group, that will produce documentaries for CNN as well as other networks, The New York Times is reporting.
“So she will be a free agent, hosting documentaries for CNN part-time, but able to take hosting and reporting jobs elsewhere at the same time,” the paper says. The article goes on to say that O’Brien could follow in Katie Couric’s footsteps and do a syndicated show, but “at this moment, I really want to work on projects,” she said.
Yesterday the New York Post quoted sources who said that O’Brien’s brand of hard-hitting journalism “doesn’t seem to fit the direction the network is going.” With a deal for a primetime show yet to be determined, their sources said that her departure was imminent.
Today, O’Brien sat down with Wendy Williams today and addressed the story
“As you know, it’s been reported that the morning show is going a different direction, so we’re talking about what ways I can contribute to CNN. Doing stuff like I like to do which is hard-hitting journalism,” she said during the interview. TVNewser references a source who says that O’Brien really wants to stick with CNN, and an evening program “may not be the only option.”
To that end, the resolution reached this afternoon is in between. She’s leaving her permanent anchor position at the network, but she maintains a relationship where she had the freedom to report on the things she wants to cover. The Times says that she’s working on two more installments of the Black in America series. She also has an idea for another series — Poverty in America — that she’ll have the freedom to pitch to other networks if CNN doesn’t bite.
According to the Times, Starting Point had low viewer numbers, reaching only 234,000 viewers on an average morning.