BARATUNDE THURSTON JOINS PIVOT'S NIGHTLY, PRIMETIME NEWS PROGRAM "TAKEPART LIVE" AS CO-HOST
Los Angeles, CA (October 8, 2014) - Participant Media's television network Pivot announced today that Baratunde Thurston, CEO and co-founder of Cultivated Wit, author of The New York Times best-seller How To Be Black, and prolific keynote speaker, is joining TakePart Live as a co-host. Baratunde Thurston joins Meghan McCain and Jacob Soboroff on the nightly news program (10pm ET/7pm PT) produced by Embassy Row (Bravo's Watch What Happens Live, AMC's Talking Bad and Talking Dead).
"I am so excited to join the smart and insightful conversations around the news of the day with Meghan and Jacob at TakePart Live," said Thurston. "This show is a great example of what a thoughtful, community-engaged, and respectful debate can be. I can't wait to add my point of view, wit, and beard to the mix."
Thurston, a frequent guest co-host on the show, joins McCain and Soboroff nightly as they address today's hottest issues and headlines, in an environment meant to invite the audience to take part, live. They debate the nuances of topics trending in the news and social media, inform viewers about how they can take part in today's issues, and have in-depth conversations with notable guests in a rowdy, intelligent, hour-long conversation.
"Baratunde's work and Take Part Live share the same goal: to raise awareness and inspire action through entertainment. We are thrilled to be able to include his perspective and skills to the show," said Belisa Balaban, EVP of Original Programming for Pivot.
Thurston is a compelling social commentator who frequently tackles highly charged, emotional issues like race relations, politics and social justice. His wit and intelligence offer a new lens on what's happening in the world. He's an accomplished speaker and author who released the critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller, How To Be Black (Harper Collins, 2012). The comedic and satirical memoir chronicles Thurston's "coming-of-blackness" and explores themes of race, democracy and politics. In that same year, Thurston co-founded Cultivated Wit, a company that uses humor, design, and technology to produce events like "Comedy Hack Day" and to create marketing campaigns that make the truth more accessible and interesting.
Thurston also served as the politics editor and director of digital for The Onion from 2007 until 2012, helping expand the satirical news outlet's colonization of the digital future through apps, e-readers, social media, and more. Prior to joining The Onion, Thurston co-founded the popular website Jack & Jill Politics, a black political blog.
Since premiering earlier this year, TakePart Live has established itself as a unique nightly news program that encourages guests to talk about issues and topics important to them, from Moby's efforts to save the bees, Michele Bachmann discussing what it's like to be a female in Congress, to Larry King and T-Pain having an auto-tune duet on what they'd do if they were president for a day. Other notable guests have included an impressive array of celebrities, social media personalities, politicians, and experts including Evan Rachel Wood, Mandy Moore, Jose Antonio Vargas, Arianna Huffington, RuPaul, Matthew Lillard, Kermit the Frog, Jason Ritter, Fred Willard, Theo Rossi, Lisa Lampanelli, Wilmer Valderrama, Jack Osbourne, Andrew W.K., and many more.
TakePart Live also presents in-depth and signature segments exploring issues facing citizens of the world more deeply including TakePart World, shot this season on location in Rwanda, Kenya, and Uganda, #JustVote, a multi-year voter initiative spearheaded by Soboroff, and Return the Service, McCain's signature segment spotlighting Veterans.
Participant Media's television network Pivot (Pivot.tv), launched nationally in August 2013, serves passionate Millennials (18-34) a diverse mix of original series, acquired programming, films and documentaries. Pivot focuses on entertainment that sparks conversation, inspires change and illuminates issues through engaging content and connects audiences to a wealth of content and actions through its affiliated website TakePart (TakePart.com). Pivot is available in approximately 45 million homes in North America via traditional pay TV subscription, integrating a live and on demand streaming option via the Pivot app. Follow Pivot on Twitter at @pivot_tv and on Facebook at facebook.com/pivottelevision.
Participant Media (ParticipantMedia.com) is a global entertainment company founded in 2004 by Jeff Skoll to focus on feature film, television, publishing, and digital content that inspires social change. Through its films, social action campaigns, digital platform and television network, Participant seeks to entertain, encourage and empower every individual to take action.