There has been word that CNN’s morning show “Starting Point with Soledad O’ Brien” has not been faring well (along with the network’s consistent low ratings). However, with a change of heads at CNN, NBC’s Jeff Zucker, who now leads CNN Worldwide, hopes to salvage talent and reposition CNN’s brand. One person who is getting a new seat at the news organization is Soledad O’ Brien.
Although she will be leaving the morning show this spring, she’s not leaving the network all together. Known for her documentary work on race, such as the “Black in America” series, the broadcast journalist is planning to create Starfish Media Group, a production company that would supply documentaries to CNN and other channels, the New York Times reports. In this position, O’ Brien leaves the anchor desk to become an outside producer, a move, she tells the Times, that has been in the work prior to Zucker’s arrival at the job.
“We had conversations in general about my role at CNN,” O’Brien told the New York Times. “What we ended up with was, they wanted to partner with me, and I wanted to partner with them.”
Working as a free agent means that O’Brien would be hosting documentaries part-time for CNN and working on alternative projects as well. This route, the journalist says, will help her open up discussions on a variety of platforms outside of the news network she has longed work for — something that has been at times a challenge for her.
“Under the previous regime, we did not have a ton of support,” O’brien told the Times, referring to project ideas such as a documentary called “Poverty in America” that never made it to air. She said that her and her colleagues “tried to get a sense of what people wanted”, but for some people on the corporate side of CNN, “it was never very clear.”
Although O’Brien won’t be waking America up in the near future, she says she won’t miss having to wake up herself at 2 a.m.
“To do the thing that you’re really passionate about,” she said. “is a very nice luxury, and that’s what I am getting to do now.”