Exclusive: Hearst's 'Matter of Fact' Renewed for Season Four
Hearst Television, through a distribution partnership with Sony Pictures Television, has renewed its weekly political half-hour, Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien, for a fourth season and expanded its reach to 90% of the U.S.
Matter of Fact will now be in all of the top 20 TV markets, and 65 of the top 70 with nine new markets joining the roster. The show has been renewed on the NBC-owned stations in New York, San Francisco and Hartford, the CBS-owned stations in Chicago, Philadelphia and Atlanta, and the Fox-owned stations in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Tampa and Charlotte, N.C.. It also has been renewed on Tegna-owned independent KONG Seattle, Fox affiliate KMSB Tucson, Ariz., NBC affiliate KTVB Boise, Idaho; and independent station KTFT Twin Falls, Idaho.
“Matter of Fact has succeeded by distinguishing itself with differentiated programming that has resonated with viewers,” said Emerson Coleman, senior vice president, programming at Hearst Television, who also serves as the show’s executive in charge of production. “Our growing station clearances consist of top-tier broadcasters who are demonstrating genuine support for the program. The show’s extraordinary production team works hard to provide the best product and they have frequently been ahead-of-the-curve on major national stories. The fact that additional major broadcast partners are joining us on this journey reflects well on that effort.”
The show started in September 2015 with Fernando Espuelas as host and switched to O’Brien in 2016. The 2018-19 TV season will mark O’Brien’s third as host.
“Our format is to have conversations with diverse guests, and in the course of those conversations we focus on the facts,” said O’Brien, Matter of Fact host and producer, in a statement. “This enables us to dig deeper on issues so the viewer develops a greater understanding of an issue impacting his or her life.”
“Soledad O’Brien is an extraordinary host. She has really helped elevate the show and she has a huge audience that’s gravitated around the program. Of the major Sunday morning talk shows, it’s the youngest-skewing,” said Coleman.
Matter of Fact focuses on stories that aren’t currently being told in the national media and as a result has been ahead of the curve with several interviews on topics that have then broken into the national consciousness. These include an interview with Charlottesville, Va., Mayor Michael Signor a month before protests in that city erupted into a confrontation between White supremacists and liberal protesters, and an interview with Baltimore Ravens player Ben Watson about NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem, an issue that President Donald Trump controversially addressed in Alabama one year later.
“We take a ground-level approach to the issues by seeking out new voices and fresh faces to illuminate stories that are unreported, underreported or that are just beginning to surface,” said Jillian O’Brien, Matter of Fact executive producer, in a statement.
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Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.