CNN veteran journalist Soledad O’Brien will soon begin contributing pieces to Al Jazeera America as a “special correspondent.”
The move is a coup for Al Jazeera America, which wants to reach the American viewing audience by featuring familiar television journalists — such as former CNN stalwart Ali Velshi — as it attempts to compete in the crowded cable news landscape. O’Brien was one of CNN’s most visible and respected journalists, someone who could deliver serious breaking-news and still project an informed but relaxed style.
O’Brien’s production company, Starfish Media Group will produce hourlong documentary specials for the fast-growing cable network.
“I look forward to beginning a relationship with Al Jazeera America, which has made a commitment to producing quality programming and pursuing underreported stories,” O’Brien said in a press release, confirming speculation that started building last week.
O’Brien left CNN in March when the network chief Jeff Zucker handed the time slot of her show “Starting Point” to the new Chris Cuomo vehicle “New Day.”
When she left CNN, she formed Starfish Media, which, in addition to the production deal with Al Jazeera America, now also has a production arrangement with CNN, abd development deals with HBO and the National Geographic Channel.