O’Brien will anchor a new "conversational ensemble program" that explores top issues of the day while opening the conversation to people from all walks of life. O’Brien will continue to be a special correspondent for long-form documentaries at CNN.
“I couldn’t be more eager to return to daily news, to bring conversation and context to CNN viewers in the morning. I welcome the opportunity to give voice to people who aren’t often heard, and stories that are sometimes overlooked,” says O’Brien. “I love telling people’s stories, and I’m looking forward to bringing the perspective, heart and storytelling that have worked well in our documentaries to a morning audience”
Since joining CNN in 2003, O’Brien has reported breaking news from around the globe—including the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, hurricane Katrina, and the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah. In addition, she has produced award-winning documentaries, including the acclaimed Black in America, Latino in America and Muslim in America. Earlier this year she was part of a CNN team that won an Emmy Award for their reporting of the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti.
O’Brien came to CNN from NBC, where she anchored the network’s Weekend Today show from 1999-2003. She was named Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists in 2010. That same year she launched a personal foundation with her husband, the Soledad O’Brien and Brad Raymond Foundation to send underprivileged youth to and through college.
Ashleigh Banfield and Zoraida Sambolin will anchor from 5-7am ET, kicking off the new CNN morning block with a new program covering a broad spectrum of the day’s news from two highly personable and passionate journalists.