All Articles Tagged "soledad o’brien"
Since departing from CNN, Soledad O’Brien has been busy and in the spotlight.
In between production deals with her new company Starfish Media Group and serving as a fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, now comes the news that O’Brien will stay in the Turner family by signing on to to HBO‘s Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel, reports Deadline.com (via EUR). With Real Sports O’Brien will be reunited with a former Today show cohort. Gumbel co-anchored the weekday show while O’Brien co-hosted the weekend edition before bouncing to CNN, where she hosted the morning programs American Morning and Starting Point.
Her deal with HBO is more expansive than just Real Sports. O’Brien and Starfish have also entered a first-look deal with HBO for scripted projects and long-form programming concepts.
At the same time, O’Brien also has a deal to continue to produce documentaries for CNN. This includes two installments of her controversial Black In America series.
UPDATE: “This Is A Conversation You’re Clearly Uncomfortable With:” Soledad O’Brien Responds To Criticism Of Her “Black In America” Series
Soledad O’Brien recently discussed modern journalism, social media, and her Black In America series at Harvard’s Institute of Politics with Callie Crossley, a Boston-area journalist with WGBH and producer of the documentary series Eye On The Prize, and had some very straightforward and colorful things to say about responding to criticism of her popular series.
“It was only white people who ever said that… If only we could see beyond race,” O’Brien says at one point in the video. “OK, white person, this is a conversation you’re clearly uncomfortable with,” O’Brien continues in her hypothetical conversation. LOL.
In the video, Soledad O’Brien also discusses some of the conditions of modern journalism, such as the impact of social media, which has its pros and cons, as demonstrated in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing. The discussion is part of The IOP’s John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum. You can watch the whole one-hour conversation online here.
You’ll recall that O’Brien was named Distinguished Visiting Fellow for 2013-2014 at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, in part to talk about just these issues. What’s interesting — and refreshing — is the candor with which she speaks about them.
UPDATE: With that in mind, O’Brien is taking her response a step further and says that a series called “White In America” is in the works. TVNewser quotes her saying, “As a journalist, my job is to probe the uncomfortable topics to drive conversation. I’m happy to see that’s still happening as a result of ‘Black In America,’ and I look forward to continuing that conversation as we continue to tell the stories of who we are. We’re not just working on BIA, but also developing a ‘White in America.’ Stay tuned for that one.”
She also takes a jab at the blogosphere for what she says are “ taking the conversation out of context and ginning up headlines” by calling out her previous comments.
Will you watch “White In America?”
Check out the clip below.
Soledad O’Brien has been named Distinguished Visiting Fellow for 2013-2014 school year at The Harvard Graduate School of Education. According to a press release statement from the school’s dean Kathleen McCartney, O’Brien’s qualifications for the honor include her work on the Black In America and Latino In America series, which have focused on education equality, and her organization, the Soledad O’Brien and Brad Raymond Foundation (founded with her husband), which helps disadvantaged women attend college.
“At the Harvard Graduate School of Education, O’Brien will explore a wide variety of topics related to public education in America – including the influence of income on educational equality, the role of gender specific education, and efforts to overcome racial and ethnic achievement gaps in education,” the release says.
O’Brien’s CNN program, Starting Point, may have ended last month, but she’s already off and running with her new production company Starfish Media Group, which will continue to produce documentaries for CNN and other outlets. Among the many honorifics bestowed upon O’Brien, she is an Emmy winner (for her coverage of the devastating earthquake in Haiti), was a member of a George Foster Peabody award-winning team that covered the BP oil spill and Hurricane Katrina, and has been selected as Journalist of the Year by The National Association of Black Journalists.
Going Out With A Bang: Roland Martin Talks CNN And “White Male Execs” Keeping Minorities From Having Their Own Shows
We told you earlier this month that to the disappointment of a great deal of people, Roland Martin and his ascots would be leaving CNN for good. This definitely had everyone talking especially since it was starting to seem that all the “color” on the channel was being given the boot, including Soledad O’Brien, whose morning show is going in a “different direction” without her. But she will continue to produce documentaries/specials for CNN through her very own production company. As for Martin, his last day is reportedly set to be April 8, but homeboy isn’t going out quietly. According to reports, after announcing his last day on Twitter earlier this month, he allegedly tweeted that the “new boss wants his own peeps.” That new boss being Jeff Zucker. But he’s taking things a step further as of late, claiming said new boss doesn’t have a soft spot in his heart for minorities hosting their own programs. Seeing as how Martin was a contributor for the channel for years, he’s not feeling the way the game has been played.
In a conversation with Huffington Post Live, Martin spoke on the fact that after years of hard work, he was never given his own show, but was never really given a reason why:
“What do we do to get from here to get to there? To get from here to be able to host a show? That was never made clear. There’s this fear of making the leap.
You have largely white male executives who are not necessarily enamored with the idea of having strong, confident minorities who say, ‘I can do this.’ I’m just saying, give folks a shot.”
Martin went on to explain that his gig hosting Washington Watch on TV One and many other specials for CNN and bringing in huge numbers should have been proof that he could handle such responsibilities, but he wasn’t given the opportunity:
“We deliver, but we never get the big piece, the larger salary, to be able to grow from there.
Bernard Shaw left CNN as the top news anchor how many years ago? Two decades ago? So who right now is in the position to get a primetime show??
If it’s a ratings game, and we won, how is it I never got a show?”
Guess we can’t say no hard feelings this time around…Thoughts?
See Martin’s conversation with Marc Lamont Hill on HuffPostLive on the next page:
It’s still kind of hard to imagine what the set of “The View” will look like with Joy Behar no longer at the coffee table with Barbara, Sherri, Whoopi, and Elizabeth making her inappropriately hilarious remarks. But the show must go on — and a seat must be filled! Here are our picks for women who can take Joy’s place.
Tracee Ellis Ross
Who doesn’t love Tracee Ellis Ross? Plus, like Joy, she’s hilarious! And I’m pretty sure she would usher in an entire new crowd of viewers because I can guarantee half of the black fashion community will be tuning in just to see what Tracee wears, every natural girl in the world will be checking for her bouncy girls on a daily, and then there’s all the rest of the black folk in America who just love her fun personality. Win!
With changes coming to CNN and her Starting Point job gone, Soledad O’Brien announced that she would be starting her own production company, Starfish Media Group. Now she opens up to Bloomberg BusinessWeek about that decision.
“We struck an unusual deal. I’ll get to leave CNN with my catalog and documentaries,” she says. “To have ownership of Black in America and Latino in America is hugely important.”
Not only is O’Brien leaving CNN to pursue something she will truly enjoy, she’s leaving with the intellectual property she created. It serves as a lesson to anyone who works for a company and has to negotiate a departure. If you’re leaving your post, try to walk away with some right to the work you’ve created.
In the article, O’Brien said she “really pushed for that.” Meaning she negotiated with her now former bosses over these items.
Not everyone has the leverage that Soledad O’Brien does. And there are some things that you can’t take with you. But there have been tons of stories written about the things, like pay, that women don’t get because they don’t fight for what they’re entitled to. This isn’t reserved just for dollars and cents. Employees should also negotiate for perks, for status within the company, and for the right to call the work they’ve done for a company their own.
O’Brien says that Black in America and Latino in America are brands she built at CNN and now she’s closely tied to them. If there are things that you’ve accomplished that are now tied closely to your name and professional reputation, be sure to take ownership of them as soon as you can. Discuss with your managers ways that you can share the rights to things that you think may become important parts of your career in the long-term. And don’t be afraid to stay strong in the face of some push-back. If what you’re doing is valuable to the company, they will try to work with you so both sides are happy.
Three things you can do to help yourself during the negotiating process:
-Be reasonable. You want to be firm, but don’t overplay your hand. The company is holding some of the cards, so you have to be willing to compromise.
-Show the company why it’s beneficial for them to negotiate. If something is as closely tied to your name as you say, then it’s good for the company to keep you involved. Make them see the upside to preserving a good relationship with you.
-Go into the negotiation as a partner, not an underling. Part of the negotiation process is knowing your value. If you go into the conversation from a position of weakness, the opposing side will exploit it.
For more from Soledad, click here.
With Soledad O’Brien’s pending departure from CNN’s morning line up, there’s a vacancy at the anchor desk. It seemed all but certain that Erin Burnett, an evening anchor with the network, would be taking up the position alongside Chris Cuomo, the two working together to revive CNN’s ailing morning ratings. Now it appears Erin Burnett isn’t interested in the job. Radar Online says it was Burnett’s “diva demands.” The Atlantic Wire says money was an issue. Burnett is already making $2.5 million on the evening news and wanted more to make the move. Either way, now it looks like the deal is off and CNN President Jeff Zucker is now looking elsewhere to make a hire.
In the case of Tamron, TVNewser says “not true.”
“A source in the agent community confirms that Zucker is fond of Hall, but they note that NBC News and MSNBC are fond of her too. More importantly, our source says, Hall has at least a year left on her contract with MSNBC, making any potential jump very difficult,” the blog writes, noting it could happen at some point, but not in time to staff up this morning show.
Oh well… We’ll just have to keep tuning in to NBC if we want to see Hall at work.
Jeff Zucker has already achieved a level of infamy in certain circles for making the decision to take Soledad O’Brien out of the morning lineup and replace her with Chris Cuomo and evening anchor Erin Burnett. (Though it looks like Soledad is landing on her feet just fine, thank you very much.) Now he can add a ratings dip to his troubles.
Deadline Hollywood reports that the network saw a five percent decline in daytime viewers for the month of February, and a one percent decline for evening viewers, compared to January. Part of the problem could’ve been the network’s extensive coverage of the stranded cruise ship Triumph’s tug to port in Alabama on Valentine’s Day. Many questioned that decision. And there’s no more election to cover (which could explain the cruise ship bonanza.)
The year-over-year results are even worse. CNN is down 10 percent in daytime viewers compared to February 2012, and 18 percent in the evening, attracting 424,000 viewers between the hours of 8pm and 11pm this month. That said, last February’s numbers were affected by not only televised Republican presidential primary debates and the broadcast funeral for Whitney Houston.
Fox News Channel, which came in number one, pulled in 1.79 million primetime viewers on average for the month.
On a positive note, some of CNN’s programs saw ratings increases, reports TVNewser, including Erin Burnett Outfront, which was up 15 percent (an up 11 percent in the important 25-to-54 demographic) and Starting Point, O’Brien’s soon-to-be-canceled morning show, which was up 27 percent broadly and 21 percent in that key demo.
TVNewser has the CNN press release that touts the narrowing gap between its ratings and MSNBC.
Zucker assumed his role at CNN on January 20, so it’s barely been more than a month on the job. We’ll have to see what sort of impact his changes have. Will you tune in to the post-Soledad morning program?
Soledad O’Brien’s New Production Company Is Already Getting Pitches, CNN Getting Criticized About Diversity
Her new production company, Starfish Media Group, was only announced a few days ago, but already, CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien says she’s gotten four documentary pitches. Starfish doesn’t actually launch until June. And O’Brien is seated in the anchor chair at CNN until May or June.
O’Brien told The Huffington Post that the situation was a “win-win” for everyone.
“We did not get a lot of promotion. We did not get a lot of marketing. We weren’t fully staffed,” she said of her show Starting Point. Still, she maintains that the show did “a really good job.” At the moment, she has no plans to continue as an anchor once the gig at CNN is over. Starfish will be producing three documentaries in 2014 including one more installment of the “Black in America” series.
According to TVNewser, O’Brien doesn’t have a bad word to say about Jeff Zucker, CNN’s new president and the man responsible for putting Chris Cuomo and Erin Burnett in the network’s morning lineup. Moreover, she agrees that the network “positively needed to be changed.”
O’Brien may not have anything bad to say about the network, but The National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) and the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) both have a lot to say to Zucker about the low level of diversity at the network. Gregory H. Lee Jr., the president of the NABJ, is said to be speaking with the CNN board.
Zucker spoke to the National Association of Black Journalists yesterday, just days after O’Brien made her departure known. The NAHJ, also citing O’Brien’s departure, noted that Zoraida Sambolin, host of Early Start from 5am to 7am, is the only Latina in the daytime and evening schedule.
“NAHJ urges CNN to take judicious positive steps in diversifying its lineup and filling this void with the hiring of Latino talent for its English-language network. Diversity must be of the utmost importance as CNN looks to successfully grow its network’s brand,” the organization said.
MSNBC was recently rewarded with elevated ratings from black audiences, owing in part to the diversity in its anchor lineup. Diversity in the news isn’t an option, but a necessity.
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.