Soledad O’Brien is joining Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.
HBO announced Wednesday that O’Brien would be a reporter on the monthly magazine show. Her first story, which is about war veterans who cope with PTSD through martial arts, is due this month.
“Soledad is a perfect fit for Real Sports,” said Ken Hershman, president of HBO Sports. “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.”
Fellow Today show Gumbel said, “Soledad’s a respected journalist with a proven track record. 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.”
O’Brien was also excited about the new venture, saying, “It’s exactly what I’ve been doing for a long time — telling stories about human beings and their struggles.”
O’Brien was previously an anchor for CNN’s Starting Point, but left the morning show for a new venture — starting her own media company, Starfish Media Group, which will produce three documentaries for the network in 2014. Staring Place was replaced by New Day, which is anchored by Kate Bolduan and Chris Cuomo. The morning show will debut June 17, and will air from 6-9 am. The show will also feature news reader Michaela Pereira.
Executive producer Jim Muphy said New Day “will be a super-newsy morning program, but a bit more fun and interesting, covering a wide range of news topics. We’ll have light stories, we’ll have fun, but we won’t have a kitchen.”
HBO has also signed a “first look” deal with Starfish Media Group, meaning the network will get the first chance to pick up scripted projects and “long form programming concepts” developed by the company.
What do you think of Soledad O’Brien joining Real Sports?
[Photo credit: JD Lasica / Flickr]