Al Jazeera America has signed veteran journo Soledad O’Brien as a special correspondent, and has pacted with Soledad’s production company, Starfish Media Group, to produce hourlong docu specials for the cable news net.
O’Brien will offer short-form segs as special correspondent to the Al Jazeera America’s primetime current affairs program “America Tonight,” where she will reunite with fellow CNN alum Kim Bondy, who serves as the show’s senior exec producer.
Al Jazeera America is slated to launch in August.
“O’Brien’s career producing and reporting on the human side of many of the most important stories of the past decade will fit in perfectly with what Al Jazeera America will be covering every day,” said Ehab Al Shihabi, executive director of Al Jazeera’s international operations and the senior executive developing the new channel. “Her dedication to that type of journalism is what makes it so exciting to announce that she and her production company are joining the Al Jazeera America team.”
While far from being the first notable hire by Al Jazeera America (Ali Velshi, Edward Pound and Kim Bondy, among others, have boarded the company), O’Brien is the most widely known journalist to join the forthcoming news net, helping shape the news org’s Stateside image which took hits during the 9/11 era.
O’Brien most recently co-anchored CNN’s ayem program “American Morning,” and hosted “Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien.” Before her tenure at CNN, O’Brien worked with NBC News, anchoring “Weekend Today.”
“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. “I am thrilled to be back in business with Kim Bondy, who is a long-time friend and among the finest journalists in the broadcast news business today. With this agreement, Starfish continues its expansion as a cross-platform media company dedicated to compelling storytelling and enterprise journalism.”