Thursday, February 21, 2013

11011: So Long, Soledad.

Advertising Age reported CNN is diminishing the role Soledad O’Brien plays on the network. And the announcement came during Black History Month. Nice.

Diminished Role for Soledad O’Brien as CNN to Move Her Out of Mornings

No Longer a Host, but Her Production Company Will Partner With Network

By Jeanine Poggi

CNN’s Soledad O’Brien will be moving on from her morning show, but she won’t be leaving the cable news network completely.

The network announced that it will partner with Ms. O’Brien’s production company, Starfish Media Group, for long-form programming specials. Starfish, which will launch in June, will produce three of these specials for CNN in 2014, including the franchise “Black in America.”

“We greatly value Soledad’s experience, and her first-rate storytelling will continue to be an asset to CNN,” Mr. Zucker said in a statement. “Documentaries and long-form story telling are important to our brand and we’re anticipating more of what we’ve come to expect from her—riveting content.”

Ms. O’Brien will eventually move out of her morning show, “Starting Point,” according to a person familiar with the matter.

CNN’s new President Jeff Zucker called out the morning as one potential area of growth for CNN when he was hired late last year. To this end, he poached Chris Cuomo from ABC for a yet-to-be-named morning show, and several reports indicate Erin Burnett, who currently hosts the 7 p.m. time slot, could be his co-host.

This is the latest move by Mr. Zucker, who also tapped ESPN veteran Rachel Nichols for a weekend sports program, and ABC News Senior White House Correspondent, Jake Tapper, was named CNN’s chief Washington correspondent. Mr. Tapper show, “The Lead,” will air weekdays at 4 p.m., cutting Wolf Blitzer’s “The Situation Room” back one hour.

Jeff Zucker only officially took the reins as president of CNN on Jan. 21, but he has already made some high-profile moves. Ad Age follows Mr. Zucker as he cleans house and revamps the cable news network.

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