Thursday, July 28, 2016

What’s Wrong and Right With the Media

In a wide-ranging and detailed interview, Soledad O'Brien spoke with about the state of the media in America.

One Q&A exchange:

Just because you’re a black person in the newsroom doesn’t mean you want to single-handedly wage battle against white America’s preconceptions. So just hiring black people in itself isn’t even enough. There’s only so far you can push without risking your job.
And it’s also exhausting. By the way, you take your career in your hands every time you do it. I get it. I really understand why people don’t want to fight the narrative. Your career will end. I am telling you. You become a pain in the ass. Because you’re the one who says, “So, I just want to say …” And listen, I believe this happens in corporate America all the time. I’m sure there are a million executives who will tell you, right, you suck it up, and you suck it up, and then one day see something, and you’re like, “Okay, I’ve got to say something now,” and then you couch it very carefully. “So, I’m not criticizing anybody, and I’m sure this is just completely an oversight, I just might want to go back and maybe …” That’s what it’s about, and it’s exhausting to operate like that. And listen, the more that you have power — certainly I did when I was anchoring a show — you can say, “No, I’m not doing that. I’m not reading this.” But most people don’t have that opportunity. And even I don’t have that opportunity to a certain degree. I can do it to a certain level, but I certainly can’t do it all the time. You’re just always very careful. A person who pushes back against the narrative is a pain. That person is annoying. That person slows down the meeting. Even bosses who say, “I really want to make sure that there’s someone who’s comfortable telling me ‘No,’ ” they’re usually not. They usually do not like that person. Nobody likes that person. That person is a pain, I am telling you. So if you do that, you absolutely take your life and your career in your hands.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Headed to Cleveland

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A selfie posted to Soledad's Facebook page "I'm headed to Cleveland to host a concert at the @aidshealthcare's #KTPUSA event!"

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Soledad O'Brien on Becoming a CEO

Soledad O’Brien, chief executive of the Starfish Media Group, a production company, was interviewed by Adam Bryant for The New York Times.

In the interview, she spoke about becoming a CEO.

... it was a real challenge when I started this company three years ago, because this was really the first time I was fully and utterly responsible for managing a team.

It was a very steep learning curve, mostly because there was not a lot of overlap between the kind of journalism I was doing and running a business. A key insight for me was that if you want good feedback from people, you have to create an environment where people want to come and tell you things. But I had no concrete idea of how to do that.

Another challenge was that I was successful in my previous role because I really worked hard and took a lot of responsibility for making things good. But that’s not actually a great skill for being a boss. The job of the boss is to help other people reach their goals and their dreams.

The area where I’ve grown the most is that I am good at making decisions in the macro and helping other people make the decisions in the micro.

The broader learning curve has been exciting, but while you’re in it, it’s also kind of annoying. It felt like a slog. At what point will I actually grow into this job, because I have the title? At what point will I actually be making decisions like someone who is the C.E.O. of the company? I would say it took a solid year before I felt good about it.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Soledad O'Brien's Starfish Foundation Works With Young Women

On June 9, Soledad O'Brien and her husband, Brad Raymond, hosted their sixth annual benefit gala in New York for their Starfish Foundation.

This year's event is particularly focused on mentorship.

"When someone helps you out and picks you up and puts you on the right path, you sort of owe it to turn around and reflect back to them the things that you see are possible for them," O'Brien says. "Sometimes we need someone to tell you what you're good at and what you could do."

The foundation's support and education for young women helps with college and continues with advising them on their careers. This includes lessons on how to find an internship an how to dress for an office job.

The young women have conversations about knowing how to make sure you're being paid what you deserve, how to ask for a raise and how to walk away when you're not getting what you deserve.


Monday, June 6, 2016

Soledad O’Brien Hosts "I Am Latino in America"

Soledad O’Brien Hosts "I Am Latino in America"
June 6      6:30 pm - 7:00 pm Free 

Soledad O’Brien hosts "I Am Latino in America" presented by Northwestern Mutual is an exclusive invitation only event to a national conversation that is driven by the facts including the most current statistical data and delves into critical issues for “real talk” that impacts Latino communities today.

This event promises to be a powerful evening that is both educational and entertaining. It is an opportunity to amplify the power of the Latino voice. The tour brings together panel discussions featuring award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien as she breaks-down topical subjects with influential leaders, experts, celebrities, business professionals, and academics.

Guest Panelist:
Melissa Mark-Viverito, New York City Council Speaker
José Calderón, President, Hispanic Federation
Lily Eskelsen García, President, NEA
Willie Colón, Entertainer, Producer, & Community Advocate
Anna Maria Chávez, GEO, Girl Scouts of the USA

Special Performances by:
J.W. Cortes, Actor & NY MTA Police Officer
Denice Frohman, Award-Winning Poet
Vladimir Caamaño, Comedian