Soledad O’Brien Gets CFC’s Stanton Award in Virtual Ceremony

Soledad O'Brien, Stanton Award
(Image credit: Hearst Television)

The Center for Communication salutes Soledad O’Brien with its 2020 Frank Stanton Award for Excellence in Communication in a virtual event December 15 at 6 p.m. ET. The event, which will honor her career and achievements, can be viewed at

O’Brien is the founder and CEO of Soledad O’Brien Productions and host of the Hearst Television program Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien

“From her fearlessness as an award-winning journalist, to her impressive leadership of her own production company, and her tireless dedication to mentorship and philanthropy, Soledad truly embodies our mission,” said Center for Communication Chairman David J. Barrett. “We are honored that she joins us in our efforts to build a more inclusive and equitable media at this critical moment.”

Antonia Hylton, correspondent, NBC News, emcees the event. Tributes come from Disney Advertising Sales President Rita Ferro and CBS Chief Creative Officer David Nevins, the 2019 and 2018 Stanton honorees, respectively. Emerson Coleman, senior VP of programming, Hearst Television, and producer Kim Bondy, who was showrunner on TNT’s Chasing the Cure, also will offer their salutes to O’Brien. 

“This honor inspires me to press ahead even stronger with my lifelong commitment to telling the story of people who are often left out of the conversation,” said O’Brien. “Journalists are charged with defending facts, providing context, keeping people honest and making politicians accountable. This recognition affirms my belief that kind of reporting is valued.” 

The celebration will feature a virtual town hall on diversity and inclusion in media. O’Brien moderates and the panel includes Kelley L. Carter, senior entertainment writer, ESPN’s The Undefeated; Sonia Manzano, an actress and writer who plays Maria on Sesame Street; John Landgraf, chairman of FX Networks and FX Productions; and Alvin Patrick, executive producer, Race and Culture Unit, CBS News. 

The Center for Communication educates and inspires students seeking careers in media, with the goal to increase diversity and expand access to opportunity.

In addition to Ferro and Nevins, past recipients of the Stanton Award include Landgraf, Katharine Graham, Ted Turner, Debra Lee, Richard Parsons and Cesar Conde. 

“As we celebrate our 40th anniversary year, we are thrilled to honor Soledad and have her lead this vital dialogue,” said J. Max Robins, the Center’s president and executive director. “Our mission is more important than ever, as we help our students face unprecedented challenges and collaborate with our industry partners to build an inclusive and equitable media industry.”

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.