CNN has announced the names of its new morning shows. Beginning Jan. 2, Soledad O’Brien’s 7-9 a.m. program will be titled “Starting Point.” The broadcast will be, in CNN’s words, a “conversational ensemble” show, with O’Brien at the center.
Former MSNBC anchor Ashleigh Banfield will host the 5-7 a.m. program titled “Early Start,” along with former local Chicago newscaster, Zoraida Sambolin.
As previously reported, CNN announced in November that it had decided to dismantle its current morning show “American Morning,” and divide the program into two separate shows: one from 5-7 a.m. and the other from 7-9 a.m.
Former “American Morning” anchor O’Brien (she co-hosted from 2003-2007) was recruited back to mornings for the second shift – just in time for the Jan. 3rd Iowa caucuses. According to Broadcasting & Cable, O’Brien will report live from Des Moines, Iowa on Jan. 2 and 3.
Banfield and Sambolin will remain at the CNN Election Center.
T.J. Holmes to Leave CNN
BET has given itself a facelift and is slowly recovering from its ravaged programming. With the introduction of more serious players, the network is on its way to a new level of respect in the Black community and among its media competitors.
Starting at the top of the year, the network is introducing award-winning CNN journalist, T.J. Holmes as part of the family.
It’s all a part of a multi-platform deal with the network.
His new move is quite a change for him, but he’s excited about it.
“[The opportunity] came out of nowhere and I wasn’t expecting it, but man the stars aligned and this is just the perfect time and the perfect opportunity for me,” he shared with Multichannel.com.
Moving from a major network to another wasn’t a random choice. The reporter explained that his inspiration came when he was forced to think of a network with Black faces.
In all the conversations I was having with the folks at BET, one thing they said really struck me: ‘Where can black people go when they get home from work and turn on the TV to see people who look like them, talk like them and discuss things that are important to them?’ I opened my mouth to respond but nothing came out because there’s a void for the type of show that we get to an extent on morning radio with the Steve Harveys and Tom Joyners of the world where they’re discussing things and issues relevant to the black community. There’s no place to get that on TV anywhere at anytime. So for me the opportunity to speak to my community at this point in my career in this country’s history was too good to pass up.”
Spike Lee Reprises Mookie for ‘Red Hook Summer’
Spike Lee will reprise his role as Mookie from 1989’s “Do the Right Thing” in his next joint “Red Hook Summer,” which will premiere Jan. 22 at the Sundance Film Festival.
The film depicts a diverse set of characters sweating out the summer in Brooklyn, according to a new synopsis released by the festival.
One of the main characters in the movie, which doesn’t yet have a theatrical release date, is a boy named Flik, according to the new synopsis. His mother sends him from their well-to-do life in Atlanta to spend the summer with his grandfather in Brooklyn’s Red Hook housing project.
Flik has never met his grandfather, who is played by Clarke Peters of “The Wire.” Flik is “bored and friendless, and his strict grandfather, Enoch, a firebrand preacher, is bent on getting him to accept Jesus Christ as his personal savior,” according to the synopsis.
Flik becomes involved with Chazz, a girl from Enoch’s church, and romance presumably ensues.
The film also stars Jules Brown, Toni Lysaith, Nate Parker, James Ransone, Keke Palmer, James Ransone and Thomas Jefferson Byrd.
“Red Hook Summer” is produced by Lee and James McBride, who collaborated together on the script.
Lee is also working on an American remake of the 2003 South Korean thriller “Oldboy.”
50 Cent Threatens Interscope…Sign Me or I’ll Leave
50 Cent may be a multi-platinum seller for Interscope Records, but his deal with the record company expired and they have yet to pick up an option for future releases.
On Saturday, 50 (real name: Curtis Jackson) tweeted, “Ok I need a record deal jimmy iovine, call me early tomorrow or I’m putting out another mix tape.”
Iovine is chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M Records, which has released four full-length albums via its Shady Records imprint along with several compilations and a soundtrack (2005′s Get Rich or Die Tryin’). In 2003, the Queens-bred rapper scored a No. 1 hit with “In Da Club.”
“Anybody want to sign me. I’m a young hungry artist and I work harder than everybody in hip hop. Call me tomorrow,” 50 continued, pointing out that the video for “Put Your Hands Up,” off of his The Big 10 mixtape (available for free download via 50′s Facebook page), has amassed 3.5 million views in three days.
As previously reported, 50 also took to Twitter in June to criticize his record company, writing, “Ok I tried to be cool with my record company. I went to the meeting talk to everyone, and sh*t feels like they’re moving in slow motion [sic] … I’m sorry to announce I will not be releasing a new album this year if we don’t get on the same page.”
According to reports, 50 has completed a studio album which is ready for release.