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Soledad To Anchor & Report For CNN: Special Investigations Unit

The first announcement: “CNN’s Soledad O’Brien has been named anchor and special correspondent effective immediately, it was announced today by CNN/U.S. President Jon Klein. She will join CNN: Special Investigations Unit, reporting in-depth on the most significant stories across the country and around the world. O’Brien will anchor and report hour-long CNN: Special Investigations Unit specials throughout the year and will file special reports on important ongoing and breaking news stories across all major CNN programs.”

Klein says: “Soledad has delivered some of the most memorable reporting on some of the most historic stories of our time. Her passion for real news, her feel for real people, and her insistence on getting real answers from newsmakers mesh perfectly with CNN’s commitment to providing even more hard-hitting, in-depth journalism to America.”

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O’Brien has co-anchored CNN’s flagship morning program, American Morning, since she joined the network in July 2003 and distinguished herself by reporting from the scene on the major stories that broke on her watch. Her reports following Hurricane Katrina and the tsunami in Phuket, Thailand, have earned her numerous awards including a Gracie Allen Award, George Foster Peabody Award and an Alfred I. duPont Award, further establishing her as a premier television journalist. Earlier this year, the NAACP honored her with its President’s Award in recognition of her humanitarian efforts and journalistic excellence.

In recent months, O’Brien served as CNN’s point person for President George W. Bush’s visit to Mexico, delivering a series of eye-opening reports on conditions south of the border that fuel illegal immigration to the United States. She also anchored and reported a highly acclaimed CNN: Special Investigations Unit hour featuring a never-before-seen look at Martin Luther King Jr.’s private writings, notes and teachings, and launched an ongoing initiative entitled “Children of the Storm,” which provides video cameras to young Hurricane Katrina survivors so that they can tell their stories of trial and triumph in their own words and images.

O’Brien came to CNN from NBC News where she had anchored the network’s Weekend Today since July 1999. During that time, she contributed reports for the weekday Today Show and weekend editions of NBC Nightly News, and covered such notable stories as John F. Kennedy Jr.’s plane crash and the school shootings in Colorado and Oregon. In 2003, she covered the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster and later anchored NBC’s weekend coverage of the war in Iraq. Additionally, in 1998, she traveled to Cuba to cover Pope John Paul II’s historic visit.

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Before Weekend Today, O’Brien anchored MSNBC’s award-winning technology program The Site and the cable network’s weekend morning show. O’Brien joined NBC News in 1991 and was based in New York as a field producer for Nightly News and Today. Prior to this, she served three years as a local reporter and bureau chief for the NBC affiliate KRON in San Francisco. O’Brien began her career as an associate producer and news writer at the then-NBC affiliate, WBZ-TV in Boston.

She has been named to PEOPLE magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful” in 2001 and PEOPLE en Espanol’s 50 most beautiful in 2004. O’Brien was also included in Crain’s Business Reports’ “40 under 40”, Essence magazine’s “40 under 40” and Black Enterprise “40 Under 40”. O’Brien has been named several times to Irish American Magazine’s “Top 100 Irish Americans.” O’Brien earned the Mickey Leland Humanitarian Award from the National Association of Minorities in Cable in 2006 and has received honorary degrees from Siena College and Mercy College.

She is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

O’Brien is a graduate of Harvard University with a degree in English and American literature.

CNN Worldwide, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.,

O’Brien has co-anchored CNN’s flagship morning program, American Morning, since she joined the network in July 2003 and distinguished herself by reporting from the scene on the major stories that broke on her watch. Her reports following Hurricane Katrina and the tsunami in Phuket, Thailand, have earned her numerous awards including a Gracie Allen Award, George Foster Peabody Award and an Alfred I. duPont Award, further establishing her as a premier television journalist. Earlier this year, the NAACP honored her with its President’s Award in recognition of her humanitarian efforts and journalistic excellence.

In recent months, O’Brien served as CNN’s point person for President George W. Bush’s visit to Mexico, delivering a series of eye-opening reports on conditions south of the border that fuel illegal immigration to the United States. She also anchored and reported a highly acclaimed CNN: Special Investigations Unit hour featuring a never-before-seen look at Martin Luther King Jr.’s private writings, notes and teachings, and launched an ongoing initiative entitled “Children of the Storm,” which provides video cameras to young Hurricane Katrina survivors so that they can tell their stories of trial and triumph in their own words and images.

O’Brien came to CNN from NBC News where she had anchored the network’s Weekend Today since July 1999. During that time, she contributed reports for the weekday Today Show and weekend editions of NBC Nightly News, and covered such notable stories as John F. Kennedy Jr.’s plane crash and the school shootings in Colorado and Oregon. In 2003, she covered the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster and later anchored NBC’s weekend coverage of the war in Iraq. Additionally, in 1998, she traveled to Cuba to cover Pope John Paul II’s historic visit.

-more-

Before Weekend Today, O’Brien anchored MSNBC’s award-winning technology program The Site and the cable network’s weekend morning show. O’Brien joined NBC News in 1991 and was based in New York as a field producer for Nightly News and Today. Prior to this, she served three years as a local reporter and bureau chief for the NBC affiliate KRON in San Francisco. O’Brien began her career as an associate producer and news writer at the then-NBC affiliate, WBZ-TV in Boston.

She has been named to PEOPLE magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful” in 2001 and PEOPLE en Espanol’s 50 most beautiful in 2004. O’Brien was also included in Crain’s Business Reports’ “40 under 40”, Essence magazine’s “40 under 40” and Black Enterprise “40 Under 40”. O’Brien has been named several times to Irish American Magazine’s “Top 100 Irish Americans.” O’Brien earned the Mickey Leland Humanitarian Award from the National Association of Minorities in Cable in 2006 and has received honorary degrees from Siena College and Mercy College.

She is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

O’Brien is a graduate of Harvard University with a degree in English and American literature.

CNN Worldwide, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner Company, is one of the world’s most respected and trusted sources for news and information. Its reach extends to nine cable and satellite television networks; one private place-based network; two radio networks; wireless devices around the world; four Web sites, including CNN.com, the first major news and information Web site; CNN Pipeline, CNN.com’s premium live video news service; CNN Newsource, the world’s most extensively syndicated news service; and partnerships for four television networks and two Web sites.
a Time Warner Company, is one of the world’s most respected and trusted sources for news and information. Its reach extends to nine cable and satellite television networks; one private place-based network; two radio networks; wireless devices around the world; four Web sites, including CNN.com, the first major news and information Web site; CNN Pipeline, CNN.com’s premium live video news service; CNN Newsource, the world’s most extensively syndicated news service; and partnerships for four television networks and two Web sites.

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