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Future Cloudy for African-Americans in Mainstream Media

04 Apr

Soledad O'Brien

Michael Baisden, Roland Martin, Soledad O’Brien and Constance White have all either been fired or stepped down from their respective positions in the communications field. With their departures, the future of African-Americans in mainstream media is uncertain.

Michael Baisden announced via Twitter on Wednesday and Facebook Thursday that “The Michael Baisden Show,” his nationally syndicated radio show, was canceled. He stated, “We were unable to reach an agreement with our syndication partner Cumulus Media. This was not a hostile situation; sometimes parties have different ideas and visions about how to move forward.”

The show, which ran for 10 years, will air reruns until March 29. Baisden also stated,   “We may not have been given the chance to have a going-away party, but the welcome-back party is going to be the bomb.”

Although, Baisden will continue to be active through public appearances, his dismissal leaves an absence of the African-American presence on radio. Tom Joyner and Steve Harvey are the only African-American nationally syndicated shows on radio.

Roland Martin and Soledad O’Brien have also been dismissed as analysts and have had their roles redefined at CNN, respectively.

Martin announced his dismissal via Twitter on Tuesday. He announced that his last day at CNN would be April 6. Jeff Zucker, CNN’s new president, is responsible for the decision, citing a new direction for the network. Martin confirmed this via Twitter stating, “New boss wants his own peeps.”

Martin will continue to work as a columnist and analyst for TVOne.

O’Brien has not been fired from CNN, but rather she is taking on a new role in the news organization.

O’Brien, host of “Starting Point” a morning television show, is relinquishing her current position at the request of  Zucker. Her new role will be to host documentaries for CNN part-time, while also forming her own production company Starfish Media Group, which will create documentaries for CNN and other organizations…

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