Thursday, August 18, 2016

Soledad O'Brien Will Anchor "Matter of Fact”

Soledad O’Brien will join the second season of Hearst Television’s political magazine show Matter of Fact as anchor and producer. O’Brien’s Starfish Media Group also will co-produce national specials with Hearst Television.

The half-hour program, launched last November, was previously hosted by Fernando Espuelas, and will be renamed Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien.

The show is produced out of the Newseum in Washington D.C., and airs on Sunday morning in many markets.

O’Brien will debut on the show on Sept. 10-11 which will include a commemoration of the 15th anniversary of 9/11.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

National Civil Rights Museum Names Soledad O'Brien Among Freedom Award Honorees

The National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis named Soledad O'Brien among its Freedom Award honorees.

O’Brien is chairman of Starfish Media Group and also works as a journalist and executive producer. O’Brien also worked with CNN, where she helped produce the documentaries “Black in America” and “Latino in America,” which show the trials, successes and complexities of being black or Latino.

The event will take place Oct. 20 at the Memphis Cook Convention Center.

Friday, July 29, 2016

The PowHERful Summit in New York City

The Soledad O’Brien and Brad Raymond Starfish Foundation hosted their annual PowHERful Summit in New York City, Saturday July 23. Entertainment industry veteran Shanti Das led the New York Health and Hospitals health panel and spoke specifically about the importance of mental health. Das spoke candidly to the young women about her struggle with depression and gave tips on to get help. “It’s important that you have a buddy system,” says Das, “make sure there’s a friend or a family member that you’re checking in with every day, so they know how you’re doing.”

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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.