Soledad O'Brien Talks about Owning the Content


When Soledad O'Brien was pushed out the door at CNN, she made sure she was going to leave with something.

She made a deal keep ownership of "Black in America" and other shows.

O'Brien feels she's on the ground floor of the next wave of journalism.

O'Brien says when she left CNN "We struck an unusual deal. I’ll get to leave CNN with my catalog and documentaries. We were able to create a brand at CNN—Black in America—that I now own. I can take that brand and extend it in any way I want. You have Netflix and all these channels that are looking for interesting and different ways to tell stories. To have ownership of Black in America and Latino in America is hugely important.

I absolutely pushed for that—it was critical to me. I’m so affiliated with this brand that there wasn’t a real struggle. I don’t just own it, but I can now take it across other platforms.

I’m not exclusive to CNN. If I decide I want to go and do a show somewhere, I can go and do it. I’ve never owned my own content. Most people in TV do not own their own production company. In fact, most of us don’t even own our own Facebook (FB) pages, and some don’t own their Twitter account.

Everyone is focused on airtime and getting another slot. I don’t think I’ll be off the radar screen. When I took a couple of years to do the documentaries after I leftAmerican Morning—what was I gone for, five years?—I didn’t feel that I was floating under the radar. Reporters will say, “But there’s CNN and Fox and MSNBC. There must be one place there where you want to be.” No. What’s exciting is to own my own product. I think of myself as a journalist and a storyteller. Now I get to be an entrepreneur, too."

 H/T Business Insider