NEW YORK (AMW) – Peabody and Emmy Award-winning broadcast journalist Soledad O’Brien is joining the staff of HBO’s sports magazine program Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel, the network announced June 12.
In addition, O’Brien and her production company, Starfish Media Group, have entered into a content development deal with HBO in which the network will be given first-look rights for scripted projects and programming concepts developed by O’Brien and her Starfish team.
“Soledad’s a respected journalist with a proven track record,” said Real Sports host Bryant Gumbel. “Her credibility, broad interests and passion make her a wonderful addition to our program. I’m thrilled to have her on our Real Sports team.”
HBO Sports president Ken Hershman added, “She’s an extraordinary interviewer and storyteller, and we’re thrilled to be able to add her to a franchise where the emphasis is on finding and presenting thought-provoking stories in the diverse and ever-fascinating world of sports.”
O’Brien says of the new partnership, “HBO is undeniably a leader in meaningful storytelling in a wide array of formats. I’m honored to join the Real Sports team and look forward to continuing my fervor for uncovering unique and impactful stories.”
Gumbel’s monthly sports news magazine has won 25 Sports Emmy Awards since debuting in April 1995
O’Brien, 46, has held a variety of roles with NBC and CNN over the past 20 years, most notably as co-anchor of CNN’s American Morning from 2003 to 2007.
In 2011, she won an Emmy for outstanding long-form live coverage of a news story for CNN’s “Crisis in Haiti.” O’Brien also helped CNN earn George Foster Peabody awards for its coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
A graduate of Harvard University, O’Brien will serve as a visiting fellow at the university’s graduate school of education for the 2013-14 school year. She also sits on the board of directors for the Foundation for the National Archives.
Apex MediaWire Billy Suratt covers the Mid-South with a primary focus on Kentucky and Tennessee. His photos have appeared in major national publications such as TIME magazine, ESPN magazine and Newsweek.com for more than a decade. Have a story idea? Contact Billy directly at 615-538-5869 or [email protected], or connect with him on Twitter and Facebook.