Former CNN anchor Soledad O'Brien will be the new host of Hearst Television’s weekly political half-hour, Matter of Fact, which debuts season two on Sept. 10.
The program, which launched late last year in select Hearst markets, was previously hosted by Fernando Espuelas.
Sony Pictures Television is distributing the program, which is currently sold in 75% of the U.S., including Fox-owned KTTV Los Angeles. Other groups that have cleared the show include CBS, Meredith, Nexstar, E.W. Scripps, Tegna and Tribune.
“Matter of Fact is connecting with viewers of all generations with its thoughtful, in-depth, probing and conversational discourse of the issues important to a cross-section of Americans,” said Emerson Coleman, Hearst Television VP, programming, in a statement. “The show has blazed a trail with a distinctive format offering a successful blend of high-profile political guests and fresh faces from the worlds of academia, community service, journalism, science and other fields.”
O'Brien, who left CNN in 2013, joins Hearst from Al Jazeera America, where she served as a contributor until the channel shut down earlier this year. As part of the deal, O'Brien's production studio, Starfish Media Group also will produce national news specials.
“It’s been a year of loudness and emotion over the most sensitive of issues, and sometimes the truly crucial conversation is drowned amid the noise of the traditional news cycle. The format of a weekly political magazine show will help us look at the issues with an added context and perspective of the discourse,” said O’Brien in a statement.
Matter of Fact is produced at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. Rita Hagen Aleman serves as executive producer, working with Senior Producer Sheila Jaskot.
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.
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