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Why Soledad O’Brien Is Partnering With Google

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By Barry Burch Jr.

If you have not already been keeping an eye out for Soledad O’Brien, maybe you do not have to. Based on the way she handles business, she may be in your face before you know it. The former CNN host told The Huffington Post on Wednesday, that her newest project will be involving a partnership with Google. More specifically, the mega company will assist O’Brien on her new speaking tour.

Google’s role is to help O’Brien reach a broader audience. The company plans to do this by developing “digital verticals” for O’Brien’s starfish Media Group. Google will also sponsor the “Soledad O’Brien Presents Black in America” speaking tour, which is expected to commence on February 17th. The tour will consist of O’Brien traveling to various college campuses and art centers across five different cities to discuss and promote social change.

Though O’Brien stressed, in a recent interview, that her partnership with Google is “non-exclusive,” or to put it more clearly, she can work outside of the search giant, she does admit to the company’s integral role in her hopes for turning Starfish Media into a “multi-platform” company.

O’Brien also explained her excitement for her new tour. She says her time as a television host has allowed her to become fearless when speaking before audiences.

“The speaking tour is very different than doing a show, where, you can have momentary jitters about nailing a break, getting to commercial on time, or finishing the interview in four minutes,” she explained. “I’m not nervous about anything…. I’m looking forward to things getting challenging.”

She added that the tour, in comparison to her morning show, will offer her “a lot of freedom” to “have someone’s full story told.”

Though O’Brien has been away from her host position for more than a year now, she has not kept away from making regular television appearances. Her ties with CNN are still there, as her “In America” series is expected to continue in the summer. O’Brien is also highly involved in other news organizations like Al Jazeera America, where she is a contributor, as reported by The Huffington Post.

“Growing an audience takes time– I think what they’re doing has been to put high quality pieces on, and that’s the best strategy,” O’Brien said of the news organization that presents “real news.”

“Some networks talk about a commitment to good journalism and just do entertainment. But the quality of their reporting has been tremendous,” she continued.

O’Brien told HuffPost Media that a number of documentaries are currently in progress and will air on CNN and Al Jazeera America.

O’Brien will also be shooting a piece for HBO’s Real Sports and continuing her ongoing search for new partners for her endeavors.

Barry is a student of life. Other than writing, he enjoys mathematics and philosophy. Reach him @ Barryburchjr@gmail.com

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