All Articles Tagged "Starfish Media Group"

Soledad O’Brien’s Year-Old Starfish Media Provides Much Needed Media Diversity

May 29th, 2014 - By Tonya Garcia
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Soledad O’Brien’s company Starfish Media Group is a year old this month, and it’s got much to celebrate. She’s said to be working on “several documentaries that will air on cable news,” among them, one on veterans with PTSD, another about New York’s controversial “stop-and-frisk” policy and another on the Washington Corrections Center for Women. Three of the documentaries she’s got in the pipeline will air on CNN, her old employer, says TVNewser.

Really, the reason why we wanted to talk about this (besides, of course, offering our congrats to Soledad) is to note this bit from the New York Daily News“The best part? She owns almost everything viewers will see her on — or produce — going forward. She describes her company’s approach as ranging from long-form documentaries to news segments and things that may exist purely in a digital space.” It’s very important to own some piece of your work, even if it’s the intellectual property. Take what you know and build a brand.

The growing strength of Starfish Media also comes at a time when diversity in the media is a big issue. NPR just announced that it is ending its last remaining show addressing issues targeting African Americans, “Tell Me More.” Moreover, Pew Research finds black newspapers struggle for circulation numbers and advertising dollars, while on television, programming geared towards black news and black news topics is scarce. Station ownership is virtually non-existent.

O’Brien’s voice and perspective are clearly sorely needed in the media today. What more would you like to see?


Never Say ‘I Can’t!’ Soledad O’Brien Jumps On Board CoverGirl’s ‘I Can’ Campaign

March 2nd, 2014 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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Ivan Nikolov/

Ivan Nikolov/

The easy, breezy, beautiful Soledad O’Brien, along with her production company Starfish Media, is teaming up with CoverGirl’s “Girls Can” campaign to release a new web series that will seek to uplift, empower, and boost underserved women pursuing a higher education.

The webseries, according to O’Brien, will follow “…the lives of several young women who have been helped through O’Brien’s foundation, the Soledad O’Brien and Brad Raymond Starfish Foundation,” according to Women’s Wear Daily. [h/t The Gloss]

The award-winning journalist said that she decided to jump on board CoverGirl’s “Girls Can” movement because it mirrors her passion to elevate women who feel weighed down by the “Girls Can’t” societal prejudice.

“There are thousands of inspirational stories waiting to be told about young women who yearn for a great education. They are stories of struggle and stories of success, and they will inspire others to take action and work to change lives,” O’Brien told Women’s Wear Daily.

The video series will explore the obstacles that young women encounter while pursuing their career goals.  The main purpose is to show women that achieving your dreams may be an uphill battle, but “can’t” should always be turned into a “can.” This content will be launched within the next couple of months.

O’Brien isn’t the only spokeswoman for CoverGirl’s campaign. Katy Perry, Pink, Queen Latifah, Ellen DeGeneres, Sophia Vergara, Becky G, and Janelle Monae have all appeared on CoverGirl’s first “Girl’s Can” ad which premiered during the Olympics Closing Ceremony.

“I heard that girls couldn’t rap. I rap!” Queen Latifah said, “[I heard] girl’s couldn’t own businesses. I own my own business!” Oh snap. Clip below. Can’t wait to see what Soledad has in mind.

Soledad O’Brien Partners With Google For Speaking Tour

February 14th, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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 Ivan Nikolov/

Ivan Nikolov/

Call her Ms. Dealmaker. Since leaving Soledad O’Brien has been busy inking deal after deal. Her latest: Her production company, Starfish Media Group, will partner with Google for her first speaking tour,  O’Brien told the Huffington Post.

By using Google+ Hangouts, Google Apps for Business and her YouTube channel, Google Starfish will try to reach the broadest audience possible. And Google will also sponsor the “Soledad O’Brien Presents Black in America” speaking tour beginning February 17th. On the tour, O’Brien will speak at college campuses and art centers in five cities to encourage conversations about social change.

According to O’Brien, the partnership is “non-exclusive” and is part of her push to make Starfish Media a “multi-platform” firm.

O’Brien also said the speaking tour will bring her to a new audience.

“The speaking tour is very different than doing a show where you can have momentary jitters about nailing a break, getting to commercial on time, or finishing the interview in four minutes,” she said. “I’m not nervous about anything…. I’m looking forward to things getting challenging.”

She also has several television commitments. O’Brien, who still has ties to her old network, is continuing her In America series for CNN. She is also a contributor to Al Jazeera America.

“Growing an audience takes time– I think what they’re doing has been to put high quality pieces on, and that’s the best strategy,” O’Brien said of the recently launched Al Jazeera America. “Some networks talk about a commitment to good journalism and just do entertainment. But the quality of their reporting has been tremendous.”

O’Brien also told HuffPost Media she working on various documentaries to air on CNN and Al Jazeera America as well as a piece for HBO’s Real Sports. The next segment of the Black in America documentary series will air on CNN during summer.

The Next “Black In America” Documentary Will Debut On August 30

August 21st, 2013 - By Tonya Garcia
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The next installment of Soledad O’Brien’s Black In America documentary series will debut on CNN on August 30 at 10 pm ET/PT. Titled “Great Expectations,” it will explore education inequality, specifically as it affects African-American boys in a low-income area of Minneapolis. The pros and cons of charter schools will also be explored.

O’Brien has been very involved in education of late. She will be an instructor in the Sundance Channel’s documentary Dream School, which will give 15 troubled students another chance at a high school education. And O’Brien is a fellow at the Harvard School of Education. O’Brien is also a special correspondent to the new Al Jazeera America network and has signed on for HBO’s program Real Sports. The documentary has been produced through O’Brien’s new company Starfish Media Group.

Will you be tuning in?

Soledad O’Brien’s Next “Black In America” May Cover Trayvon Martin Murder

July 18th, 2013 - By Ann Brown
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Soledad O’Brien seems to be relishing her new role as CEO of her own production company, Starfish Media Group. Since leaving CNN, she has made a number of deals through Starfish, including the continuance of the Black In America series for CNN Docs. Her next Black in America special will air later this year and focus on the  education of African-American boys. It will most probably touch on the Trayvon Martin case.

“We have to examine what’s going on in American justice,” O’Brien said on The Tom Joyner Morning Show (via Black America Web). “It’s interesting because it was a story we all know, whether it was the Trayvon Martin case or you and I could tick off five other cases in the last five years where it seems that justice is out of reach if you’re African American.”

The Martin case has inspired possibly another project for O’Brien. “I think it would be interesting examining where justice is applied and sometimes where it’s not. Ta-Nehisi Coates in The Atlantic has a really interesting piece about [the Trayvon Martin] trial. He sort of kicks off through history these times when justice has been differently applied. I think that would be a fascinating documentary,” said O’Brien. She also has projects with Al Jazeera America, HBO, National Geographic and other channels in the works or already in place.

“I run a production company now and I’m the CEO. I do pieces for HBO and I do pieces for Al Jazeera and work for National Geographic and produce documentaries for CNN and we’re talking to another bunch of partners as well,” O’Brien told the radio show. “So I’m in the producing of the kinds of things that I like business. That’s what I do now.”

O’Brien will join  HBO’s Real Sports on  July 23.

How Many Jobs Can She Handle? Soledad O’Brien Is Headed To Al Jazeera America

July 1st, 2013 - By Tonya Garcia
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Every time we turn around, it seems like Soledad O’Brien is announcing yet another new gig! She’s in the running for the hardest working woman in journalism, for sure.

Today we have news that she’ll be a special correspondent for Al Jazeera America, which will be coming to cable boxes near you in just a few months.  America Tonight is the network’s flagship program. O’Brien will also be producing hour-long documentaries for the network The program just recently announced another new hire, Kim Bondy, also a CNN veteran.

In the past few months, O’Brien has signed on to Real Sports on HBO, as a Harvard Fellow at the university’s Graduate School of Education, and she launched her own production company, Starfish Media Group, which will continue to produce the Black In America series as well as other programming for a variety of networks.

In a statement to The Hollywood ReporterO’Brien said, “I am thrilled to be back in business with Kim Bondy, who is a longtime friend and among the finest journalists in the broadcast news business today.”

Soledad O’Brien Signs On To HBO’s ‘Real Sports’

June 13th, 2013 - By Ann Brown
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(Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)

(Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)

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 (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.

Soledad O’Brien Will Work With CNN — And Other Networks — Through Her Own Production Company

February 21st, 2013 - By Tonya Garcia
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Jimi Celeste/ USA (Sipa via AP Images)

Jimi Celeste/ USA (Sipa via AP Images)

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.