‘Stories, as we’re taught in journalism school early on, are told through people’Significant news stories aren’t necessarily guaranteed a space in the annals of public memory — they’re emblazoned there by gifted reporters. Soledad O’Brien is one of those journalistic storytellers who uses human interest pieces to thread us together by commonalities. Flanked by passion and a self-proclaimed love of learning, she’s been on the frontlines of the biggest news events for 25 years and has given us insight into some of our most under-reported communities.
In June, she launched Starfish Media Group, a multiplatform company dedicated to uncovering and producing empowering stories and cultivating talent, production and distribution deals with major partners, including HBO, Al Jazeera America and CNN. The many faces of Soledad make her a media chameleon. Soledad the anchor for HBO’s Real Sports. Soledad the CNN reporter. Soledad the face of the Black in America and Latino in Americaseries. Indeed, she’s all of those things and more. Here, she talks teaching, business building and literally making the news.
Name: Soledad O’Brien
Position: Founder and CEO, Starfish Media Group
Resume: Launched career in 1987 as associate producer and news writer at WBZ-TV in Boston. Left to work at NBC News as producer for Nightly News and Weekend Today. Started at MSNBC in 1996; started reporting for Nightly News a year later. Anchored Weekend Today. Transitioned to CNN in 2003 as co-anchor of American Morning. Won Peabody Awards for coverage of Hurricane Katrina and BP oil spill, an Alfred I duPont-Columbia University Award for her coverage of the South Asian tsunami and Emmys for coverage of Haiti, 2012 election and “Kids on Race.” Founded Starfish Media Group in June 2013 as CEO. Serves as distinguished visiting fellow at Harvard University. Authored two books: Latino in America and The Next Big Story: My Journey Through the Land of Possibilities.
Birthday: September 19, 1966
Hometown: St. James, N.Y.
Education: Bachelor’s degree from Harvard
Marital status: Married
Media idol: Nick Cannon. “His philosophy is very similar to mine, which is to exist across many platforms and do everything with excitement and enthusiasm… I think that there’s something in his philosophy on how he’s running his company that makes a lot of sense.”
Favorite TV shows: Newsroom, Breaking Bad and Scandal
Guilty pleasure: Gummy bears (or worms or fish) and other sugary snacks
Last book read: A Marker to Measure Drift by Alexander Maksik
Twitter handle: @Soledad_OBrien
Source: Media Bistro | Janelle Harris