Soledad O'Brien

CEO, Starfish Media Group

Soledad O'Brien is founder and CEO of Starfish Media Group, a multi-platform media production and distribution company. Through SMG, Obrien reports for HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.” She also hosts the National Geographic Bee and produces reports and documentaries for CNN, Al Jazeera, PBS, and NBC. She is a critically acclaimed author and speaker.

Earlier in her career, O’Brien co-anchored “Weekend Today” and contributed to the “Today” show and “NBC Nightly News.” She later became the face of CNN’s morning program, “American Morning,” where her coverage of Hurricane Katrina on the storm’s impact included a noted live confrontational interview with former FEMA chief Michael Brown during the height of the crisis. Her coverage won her, and CNN, a George Foster Peabody award. She also covered the London terrorism attacks in July 2005, and in December 2004, she was among a handful of CNN anchors sent to Thailand to cover the disaster and aftermath of the tsunami, winning an Alfred I. duPont Award. Her numerous other awards include three Emmys for her coverage of the presidential election and the crisis in Haiti, and a Gracie Allen Award for her reports from Cyprus.    

Soledad created and launched an award-winning documentary film series "In America" that was among CNN's most successful domestic and international franchises. The "Black in America" and "Latino in America" series continue under SMG. She also hosted another morning show for the network, “Starting Point,” where her interviews with the 2012 presidential candidates drew much attention.

The NAACP honored her with its President’s Award in 2007 for her humanitarian efforts and journalistic excellence. In 2008, she was the first recipient of the Soledad O’Brien Freedom’s Voice Award from the Morehouse School of Medicine for being a catalyst for social change. Also in 2008, O’Brien was the first recipient of The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Goodermote Humanitarian Award for her efforts while reporting on the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina and the Southeast Asia tsunami. In 2009, she received the 2009 Medallion of Excellence for Leadership and Community Service from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.

 O’Brien is author of the critically acclaimed book "The Next Big Story” and “Latino in America.”  She is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. She is a graduate of Harvard University, where she became a Distinguished Fellow in 2013.

O’Brien and her husband, Brad Raymond, have created the Soledad O’Brien & Brad Raymond Starfish Foundation to help disadvantaged young women get to and through college.

She lives in New York City with Raymond and their four children.


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