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Posts Tagged ‘Soledad O’Brien’

Legendary Journalist Belva Davis Dishes on Interviewing the Greats

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Belva Davis, the first female African-American TV reporter on the West Coast, has paved the way for the likes of Tamron Hall and Soledad O’Brien. She is a true pioneer, a self-taught journalist whose incredible career has spanned print, radio and television.

In our latest So What Do You Do column, Davis talks about how she landed her fig gig at Jet, the reason she never turned down a story in the first decade of her career and why some of her memorable interview moments stand out for the wrong reasons:

I interviewed Jim Jones, who was someone I never wanted to talk to, and I had a poor interview with W.E.B. Dubois because I was young and didn’t know the significance of his importance. As time went on, I was interviewing Muhammad Ali one day and in the presence of Malcolm X the next. I did one of many interviews with Huey Newton in Cuba. Celebrities were open to me because I’d been on radio. I just pulled out some files the other day: interviews with Ella [Fitzgerald], Nancy [Wilson] and Lena [Horne]. But I think it was my first interview with then-Governor Reagan because it was unusual that I got past the Republican barricade. That was because of a co-worker and mentor named Roland Post, who became my co-anchor on a political talk show.

To hear more from Davis, including her experiences with sexism during the civil rights movement, read: So What Do You Do, Belva Davis, Pioneering Broadcast Journalist, TV Host and Author?

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People Are Still Talking About That Essence Fest Blue Ivy Hair Debate

Essence2014FestLogoOn July 4 at the 2014 Essence Music Festival in New Orleans, there was a panel discussion featuring Soledad O’Brien, OWN series star Chenoa Maxwell, Real Housewives of Atlanta cast member Cynthia Bailey, We TV series star Kim Kimble, former Maybelline spokesperson Tomiko Frasier Hines and actress Wendy Raquel Robinson. At one point, the gathered group was asked to address the backlash on social media and elsewhere over baby Blue Ivy‘s natural-look hair:

“If I want to put [my daughter] Noel’s hair in an Afro and not comb it for a year, that’s my child and it’s not anyone’s problem,” said Bailey. “Blue is [Jay Z and Beyonce’s baby]… I think she’s beautiful and I don’t even look at her hair. I turn up when it comes to kids.”

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Morning Media Newsfeed: WaPo Finds New HQ | Journo Killed in Ukraine | FCC Plan Advances

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Washington Post Publisher Announces Newsroom Move to One Franklin Square (FishbowlDC)
Washington Post publisher Katharine Weymouth announced in a memo to staff the paper’s relocation to One Franklin Square. HuffPost One Franklin Square is located in downtown Washington, D.C. Weymouth said that the move is set for 2016 and the new location is expected to be “a more efficient and collaborative space.” Poynter / MediaWire The new digs are about three blocks from the news organization’s current location. The Washington Post / Digger The selection of the building followed a real estate hunt that began in February of last year before Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com, acquired the newspaper in October. Washington Business Journal / Breaking Ground The Post signed a long-term lease with Hines Interests LP for the space in the West Tower of 1301 K Street NW. The Post has been working on a deal with Hines for some time now.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Comcast, TWC to Merge | GMA Beats Today | Soledad, Google Team Up

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Time Warner Cable to Merge With Comcast Corporation (Comcast)
Comcast Corporation and Time Warner Cable Thursday announced that their Boards of Directors have approved a definitive agreement for Time Warner Cable to merge with Comcast. The agreement is a friendly, stock-for-stock transaction in which Comcast will acquire 100 percent of Time Warner Cable’s 284.9 million shares outstanding for shares of CMCSA amounting to approximately $45.2 billion in equity value. NYT / DealBook For Comcast, which completed its acquisition of NBC Universal, the television and movie powerhouse, from General Electric less than a year ago, the latest deal would be its second big act to radically reshape the media landscape in the United States. And the merger is almost certain to bring to an end a protracted takeover battle that Charter Communications has been waging for Time Warner Cable. CNNMoney The two companies expect the merger to receive government approval and take effect by the end of the year, but regulators are likely to take a close look at the potential impact on consumers. Through the consolidation of Time Warner Cable, Comcast would be the dominant provider of television channels and Internet connections in roughly one in three American homes, a total unmatched by any other distributor. Re/code So here’s the big idea that’s supposed to get the deal approved in the coming months: It’s OK for a giant cable company to buy another giant cable company, because cable companies don’t compete. For instance: I live in Brooklyn, and I’m a Time Warner Cable customer. In theory, I could also get TV from the satellite guys, and also from Verizon. But I can’t get TV from Comcast, because the cable guys work in specific territories, carved out by local regulators, and they don’t overlap. GigaOM And when you start to peel the onion and start looking at their average monthly revenues of the combined companies, you start to see why the game is all about broadband. According to UBS estimates, the combined company could see its consumer data-only revenues go from $17 billion at end of 2013 to about $23 billion by end of 2018. Voice revenues go from about $6 billion at the end of 2013 to $6.6 billion at end of 2018.

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Soledad O’Brien On Pursuing Stories She Believes In

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Soledad O’Brien has embarked on a new journey, and she couldn’t be happier about it. The former CNN morning anchor recently launched Starfish Media Group, a multiplatform company dedicated to uncovering empowering stories from around the world.

In the latest installment of Mediabistro’s So What Do You Do?, O’Brien discusses the challenges of starting her own company, her thoughts of the current state of cable news and the importance of pursuing stories that remain uncovered by the mainstream media:

You’ve said that Starfish Media Group allows you to explore topics that you care deeply about. How would a broader adoption of that model affect journalism as a whole?
In a way, I think what you’re seeing already among viewers is that exact model. People are interested in things not necessarily covered by the mainstream media, so they download things online. The categories are growing because people find out that they’re not able to get information about stories that are of interest to them on the evening news. So I think that’s already in place and it’s only going to become more so….I think that there’s a sense of “I have a story to tell” or “I would like to see my story reflected” somewhere, especially in a nation that’s more and more demographically diverse.

To get career tips from O’Brien and more info on her company, read: So What Do You Do, Soledad O’Brien, CEO of Starfish Media Group?

– Aneya Fernando

Soledad O’Brien on Diversity in the Media: ‘It’s not that hard’

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(from L to R) Soledad O’Brien, CEO of Starfish Media and Keith Lorizio, VP of U.S. sales and marketing at Microsoft

Media types gathered last night at the 40/40 club in New York to kick off MSN’s partnership with Interactive One. The event was part of an ongoing trend necessity for media companies to focus on diversity, and Microsoft is looking to do just that not only with Interactive One, but also through partnerships with Lisnr and the Marcus Graham Project.

Interactive One’s chief content officer Smokey Fontaine spoke to the crowd about how the company evolved over the years to keep in line with America’s changing demographics. “We changed our focus from being solely African American to… all of the folks who demographically and psychographically are part of the multicultural landscape.”

Why? “Companies have no choice but to serve multicultural. If you want to stay relevant, you have no choice but to serve that market. But you do have a choice whether you’ll serve that market really well.”

Census data shows that minorities will be the majority in the near future, and Pew continues to document how little change there is in terms of minorities in the newsroom. “I’ve been having the same conversation about diversity for 26 years, since I started in TV news,” Soledad O’Brien told FishbowlNY. “Sometimes, that’s really disheartening.”

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Soledad’s Al Jazeera Gig | Snowden Speaks | NYT Blogger Scandal


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Soledad O’Brien Named Special Correspondent for Al Jazeera America (TVNewser)
As TVNewser first reported was in the works last week, Al Jazeera America has signed former CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien to a development deal, and will feature her as a “special correspondent” for its primetime newsmagazine, America Tonight. O’Brien’s company, Starfish Media Group, will produce long-form documentary specials for AJAM when the channel launches in August, with O’Brien appearing on-air for shorter-form reports on AJAM’s newsmagazine. TheWrap “O’Brien’s career producing and reporting on the human side of many of the most important stories of the past decade will fit in perfectly with what Al Jazeera America will be covering every day,” said Ehab Al Shihabi, executive director of Al Jazeera’s international operations and the senior executive developing the new channel. “Her dedication to that type of journalism is what makes it so exciting to announce that she and her production company are joining the Al Jazeera America team.” HuffPost It’s a move that makes sense for O’Brien, who ended her day-to-day job at CNN amidst that network’s rebranding. Al Jazeera has promised a less celebrity- and politics-focused network, something that jibes with O’Brien’s high-brow approach to TV journalism. Deadline Hollywood Would a CNN alum hire in this post advance efforts to get the biggest distribution holdout, Time Warner Cable, to carry the network? Back in January, when Al Jazeera coughed up a reported $500 million to buy Al Gore’s little-watched Current TV and replace it with Al Jazeera America, Time Warner Cable said its deal with Current had been terminated and it would no longer carry the service — a big distribution hit for the network. Shortly thereafter, however, Time Warner Cable said it was keeping an open mind about Al Jazeera’s plans. Politico O’Brien’s morning show program on CNN struggled in the ratings and ended March 29. Last month, HBO announced O’Brien is joining the network’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Hearst Tower Drama | Gannett Buys Belo | Soledad’s New HBO Gig


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Hearst Tower Scaffolding Collapses, Stranding Workers (FishbowlNY)
Scaffolding that was being used by two window washers on the Hearst Tower collapsed Wednesday, leaving them stranded. The scaffolding began to fall around 2:40 p.m. 57th St. at 8th Avenue closed to car and pedestrian traffic. TVSpy New York City stations broke into afternoon programming Wednesday with dramatic pictures of two window washers stranded on a scaffolding near the top of the Hearst Tower. TVNewser CBS This Morning co-anchor Gayle King was at her other day job, O: The Oprah Magazine in Hearst Tower Wednesday afternoon when two men got trapped outside the 45th floor after a window washing scaffold collapsed. NBC New York The two workers — identified by law enforcement sources as Victor Carabello, 26, of the Bronx, and Stephen Schmidt, 49, of Brooklyn — underwent a medical evaluation once they were brought inside. Moses Nelson, one of the attending FDNY paramedics, said the workers were fine and in good spirits. “They were all smiles, thankfully,” said Nelson. “No major injuries, no complaints.” Read more

Click Everything In Sight | The Boyz | New Home

AllFacebook: Hashtags are now clickable on Facebook, because everything must be the same, all the time.

FishbowlDC: John Stanton, Buzzfeed’s Washington bureau chief, listens to Heavy D. That must mean something.

TVNewser: Soledad O’Brien is joining HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. Onward, but upward?

CNN Anchor’s Twitter Spat Explanation Offends the Hotel ‘Help’

It was bad enough when CNN anchor Don Lemon engaged in a weird little Twitter spat with actor Jonah Hill over what he felt was a rude exchange with the actor in a hotel lobby. But the Atlanta newsman may now need to apologize to hotel service staff everywhere.

While trying to explain himself to Soledad O’Brien on CNN’s Starting Point, Lemon said that Hill “treated him like the [hotel] help…” In the comments to an LA Times Show Tracker report, hotel staffer jerandolph had this to say:

Your Royal Highness Lemon -

Sooooo… Mr. Hill – I mean, Jonah – treated you as The Help, eh? As a three-decade veteran of The Help at my hotel, I have a question: What are we??? The lowest form of life??? And, furthermore, if what he did to YOU was not appropriate – then why would it be alright to treat US is such a manner???

Signed,
The Lowly Help

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