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 longform documentary specials for AJAM when the channel launches in August, with O’Brien appearing on-air for shorter-form reports on AJAM’s newsmagazine.
“I look forward to beginning a relationship with Al Jazeera America, which has made a commitment to producing quality programming and pursuing underreported stories,” O’Brien said in a statement. “I am thrilled to be back in business with Kim Bondy, who is a long-time friend and among the finest journalists in the broadcast news business today. With this agreement, Starfish continues its expansion as a cross-platform media company dedicated to compelling storytelling and enterprise journalism.”
The deal with AJAM gives O’Brien three development deals since she signed off from CNN’s “Starting Point” at the end of March. She has a “first-look” deal with CNN (ncluding for the “In America” series) and HBO (which includes scripted fare), and appears on-air for HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.”
AJAM continues to staff up with talent even as it lacks a chief executive to run the day-to-day operations of the channel. We hear that a decision on who that person may be is imminent, and could happen as soon as this week.