New CNN boss Jeff Zucker is looking to change the image of the sagging cable news network. One of the first steps he’s taken is to clean house of one of its most accomplished journalists: Soledad O’Brien. The cabler’s current morning show Starting Point is being scrapped in favor of a new show starring CNN’s raven-haired primetime personality Erin Burnett and also Chris Cuomo, whom Zucker just hired away from ABC News.
O’Brien’s a rarity in cable journalism in that she’s invested less in establishing a cult of personality than in, you know, actually being a journalist. In recent years she’s reported and anchored a series of documentaries examining the challenges facing different minority groups, including a highly acclaimed series of films called Black in America, for which she already has two new installments in production. She’s also produced such issues-driven, reporting-heavy docs as Latina in America, Gary and Tony Have a Baby, Unwelcome: The Muslims Next Door, and Don’t Fail Me: Education in America.
But if you’re worried about seeing those specials evaporate as quickly as Piers Morgan’s ratings, you’re in luck. O’Brien is starting a new documentary production company called Starfish Media Group, which will continue distribute similar titles — potentially to CNN. It will not be an exclusive partnership with CNN, however, so future documentaries she makes could appear on other networks.
In the meantime, though, are you sad to see O’Brien leave the CNN anchor desk? And will you still tune in when Erin Burnett and Chris Cuomo head up the cabler’s new morning lineup?
Follow Christian Blauvelt on Twitter @Ctblauvelt
[Photo Credit: Larry Levine/WENN]