UPDATE: Soledad O’Brien is staying at CNN but will be taking on a new role after she leaves the network’s morning show in the spring, O’Brien confirmed Thursday to The New York Times.
The news journalist revealed plans to form a production company and focus on producing documentaries for CNN on “a nonexclusive basis,” an unusual deal that will also make them available to other TV channels and the Web.
“There’s so many great stories to tell,” O’Brien tells the NYT, adding that she has two new installments of the “Black in America” franchise in the works for CNN.
The article comes the day after The New York Post reported that O’Brien was planning to leave CNN.
Morning anchor Soledad O’Brien is reportedly ready to exit CNN, according to The New York Post’s Page Six, which reports the award-winning journalist may be left out in the cold with all the changes taking place at the struggling news channel.
It seems that O’Brien was promised a high-profile prime-time slot on CNN after her second run as a morning show host comes to an end, but the role has failed to materialize now that new CNN boss Jeff Zucker is running the network.
Among Zucker’s big moves to revamp CNN are his plans to debut a new morning show hosted by Chris Cuomo, where he’ll be paired with current evening anchor Erin Burnett in the A.M. slot currently occupied by O’Brien.
Initially, the network was said to be discussing “other options” for O’Brien, which apparently have gone nowhere, and she’s confided to those close to her that she’s prepared to bail if it doesn’t happen.
“The deal to move Erin to the morning alongside Chris Cuomo is basically done. Soledad had been told she’d get a prime-time slot, but that hasn’t yet happened, and now she is telling friends she is likely to leave,” a source told The Post.
The popular anchor was courted back to CNN in 2012 to host a new morning program in an earlier effort by CNN to revitalize its morning line-up. O’Brien had previously hosted CNN’s “American Morning” from 2003-2007.
It was announced in January that ABC News’ Chris Cuomo was leaving the network and heading to CNN to host a new morning program set to debut later this year. CNN also poached Jake Tapper from ABC News, who will also be hosting his own daily program later this year.