If you’re tuning in regularly to watch your favorite black voices on CNN, they won’t be on the air much longer.
CNN is parting ways with long-established voices of Soledad O’Brien and Roland Martin and the network may also be planning to say goodbye to Donna Brazile, a Democratic strategist and CNN’s only African American female commentator.
In addition, Mark Whitaker, executive vice president and managing editor of CNN, who is also black, left the network in January.
The move by CNN to eliminate these high-profile black personalities while hiring three white commentators around the same time has resulted in frustration among black journalists and led to a meeting with Jeff Zucker, the head of CNN Worldwide, and members of The National Association of Black Journalists.
“With O’Brien’s departure, Suzanne Malveaux will be the only black weekday anchor. On the weekends there are [Fredricka] Whitfield, Don Lemon, and Victor Blackwell. [Isha Sesay anchors part of “Anderson Cooper 360,” and Lisa Sylvester does news updates for “The Situation Room,” Richard Prince wrote in his diversity column, “Journal-isms.”
And, according to CNN, the network recently hired Jake Tapper and Chris Cuomo from ABC and Rachel Nichols from ESPN – all of whom are white.
Martin’s contract with CNN ends on April 8 and there are many African American journalists who feel that CNN is rapidly losing authentic black commentators to voice concerns of African Americans and speak about critical social issues from a black perspective.
Still, there is speculation that CNN could soon hire other black commentators like Van Jones, a former Obama administration official, Cornell Belcher, President Obama’s pollster during the presidential campaign, and Charles Blow, a columnist with The New York Times.
But here’s some good news: Even though CNN may be losing several black commentators, O’Brien will still produce her “Black in America” documentaries for CNN — and perhaps other networks — through her new production company.
“There’s so many great stories to tell,” O’Brien told The New York Times.
The decision to retain O’Brien’s services for more “Black in America” documentary films is important to note because O’Brien is the only anchorwoman telling compelling stories about people of color in a long-form format on national television.
O’Brien’s mother is Afro-Cuban and her father is Australian so she understands the concerns of African Americans and Latinos and seems committed to telling their stories. O’Brien said she would also like to pitch a “Poverty in America” documentary.
“We can take some of the discussions around these issues and carry them to new audiences,” O’Brien told the Times.
I’m sure many African Americans would value more documentaries about people of color, but in the meantime, beginning in the spring, you won’t see O’Brien on her early-morning show, “Starting Point” anymore.
O’Brien said her show never got the support it deserved from CNN and the program only pulled in 234,000 viewers on an average day.
“We greatly value Soledad’s experience, and her first-rate storytelling will continue to be an asset to CNN,” Zucker said in a statement. “Documentaries and long-form story telling are important to our brand and we’re anticipating more of what we’ve come to expect from her — riveting content.”
O’Brien’s morning show on CNN has been cancelled but her desire to share captivating stories about African Americans may live on through her documentary films.
What do you think? With the changes at CNN, will you continue to tune in?
(Photos: Retna, PRPhotos)
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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