Award-winning political journalist Soledad O’Brien and National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) President and CEO Gordon Smith will be featured in a keynote session on the intersection of media and politics, Wednesday, November 9 at NAB Show New York. O’Brien is CEO of Starfish Media Group and host of “Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien,” produced by Hearst Television and distributed by Sony Pictures. Smith is a former two-term U.S. senator from Oregon who now heads NAB, one of Washington’s premier trade organizations.
O’Brien and Smith will participate in a candid and wide-ranging post-Election Day conversation on politics and the media. Topics will include the sometimes tense relationships between the press and candidates, the challenges for reporters covering a new president and Congress, and the hurdles facing both of the major political parties following such a unique election cycle.
“Soledad O’Brien has provided in-depth reporting and coverage of critical world events for years, with U.S. presidential elections being no exception,” said Smith. “I am excited to hear her perspectives on the media in such an unprecedented election, especially the day after the final votes are cast.”
In August, Hearst Television partnered with O’Brien on “Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien.” The weekly half-hour syndicated show engages a diverse array of guests, including community leaders, decision makers and heads of state, who are currently shaping the American political landscape. In 2013, O’Brien launched Starfish Media Group, which is a multi-platform media production and distribution company that produces authentic, character-driven stories about a range of social issues, such as race, class and poverty.
Earlier in her career, she anchored NBC’s “Weekend Today” and contributed segments to the “Today” show and “NBC Nightly News.”
Prior to launching Starfish Media Group, O’Brien anchored CNN’s morning news programs. She won two Emmy awards for her coverage of race issues and a third for her reporting on the 2012 presidential election. Her coverage of Hurricane Katrina for CNN earned her and the network a George Foster Peabody Award. O’Brien also won a Peabody for her coverage of the BP Gulf Coast Oil Spill, and her reporting on the Southeast Asia tsunami helped CNN win an Alfred I. DuPont Award.
Gordon Smith joined NAB as president and CEO in November 2009. Prior to joining NAB, he served as a two-term U.S. senator from Oregon and later as senior advisor in the Washington offices of Covington & Burling, LLP. During his tenure in the U.S. Senate, Smith served on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, the panel that oversees broadcast-related legislation. He also chaired the Senate High Tech Task Force, which helped foster his interest in new media and technology issues.