HBO SPORTS(R) ANNOUNCES RENEWED PARTNERSHIP WITH "REAL SPORTS" CORRESPONDENT SOLEDAD O'BRIEN
HBO inks new multi-year talent deal to extend O'Brien's relationship with Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel
NEW YORK, June 20, 2017 - HBO Sports has entered into a new multi-year agreement with decorated broadcast journalist, documentarian, and producer, Soledad O'Brien, who since June 2013 has served as a correspondent for the HBO's award-winning series REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL. The new agreement was announced today by Joe Perskie, executive producer of REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL.
"For the past four years, Soledad has delivered as a unique voice for the Real Sports franchise," said Perskie. "Her ability to dig deep and report on multi-layered stories has made her a valued contributor to the series."
Since joining the award-winning show, O'Brien has delivered in-depth reports exploring the dynamic stories, issues and characters shaping the world of sports - from technology to addiction to pioneers shattering stereotypes.
"Under Bryant's leadership, the team at Real Sports has built an incredible show dedicated to telling deeply personal stories through the lens of sports," said Soledad O'Brien. "I've always focused on character-driven narratives that unearth and explore challenging or complex issues, and with a partner like Real Sports - whose format encourages long form storytelling - we're all able to do top notch journalism I'm incredibly proud of."
Since joining the REAL SPORTS team in 2013, the series has captured the Sports Emmy(R) for Outstanding Sports News Anthology three of her four years on the show.
Looking back at a few of O'Brien's most memorable and impactful stories, her first report for REAL SPORTS was an in-depth look at an innovative Mixed Martial Arts program in southern California for war veterans suffering from PTSD. Her second story for REAL SPORTS took her to Los Angeles where she explored the controversy surrounding the Chivas USA soccer franchise in Major League Soccer. The organization sparked the ire of critics who suggested personnel decisions were intended to benefit only those of Mexican heritage; the club eventually folded in 2014. In October 2013, O'Brien went inside the world of professional video gaming and presented a comprehensive look at the booming eSports industry. Her April 2014 investigation uncovered alleged unsafe dog-breeding practices around the country and led to a public outcry for stricter breeding procedures.
Other reports include a 2015 expose on athletes becoming addicted to painkillers and it leading to a heroin epidemic among young athletes, her 2015 investigation into the under-regulated supplement industry among U.S. Military members, and the 2016 profile of the Golden State Warriors COO and president Rick Welts who is NBA's first openly-gay executive. Her most recent segment, a profile on Robert Gagno, who channeled his challenges with autism into pinball excellence, debuted on the May edition of REAL SPORTS.
In addition to remaining in her role with REAL SPORTS, O'Brien serves as CEO of Starfish Media Group (SMG), a multi-platform media production company dedicated to telling empowering and authentic stories that elevate today's most important social issues. She also anchors and produces Hearst Television's political magazine show, "Matter of Fact with Soledad O'Brien", contributes regularly to PBS NewsHour and WebMD, and is Host and Executive Producer of "Mysteries and Scandals" on NBCUniversal's Oxygen Network.
O'Brien is one of the most recognizable names in journalism. She has anchored and reported for NBC, CNN, CBS, Lifetime, A&E Networks, National Geographic Networks, MSNBC, Revolt, and others, winning numerous awards, including three Emmys(R), a George Peabody Award, an Alfred I. duPont prize and a Gracie. Her critically acclaimed documentary film, "The War Comes Home" was distributed to over 350 theaters in the US. She is also the author of two books, her critically acclaimed memoir "The Next Big Story" and "Latino in America." In addition, O'Brien and her husband, Brad, created the PowerHerful Foundation to help young women get to and through college.
REAL SPORTS launched in April 1995 and has distinguished itself as the gold standard of sports journalism on television. In its first 22 years, the program has earned 31 Sports Emmy(R) Awards, 18 in the category of Outstanding Sports Journalism; three times the show has been honored with an Alfred I. duPont Award from Columbia University for broadcast excellence; and twice the series has been recognized with a George F. Peabody Award, the nation's oldest and most prestigious electronic media awards organization administered by the University of Georgia.