Soledad O’Brien is losing a next-door neighbor at CNN as ABC gains a Sunday-morning host.
International-journalism veteran Christiane Amanpour will leave the cable news network soon for her new job as anchor of “This Week.” Her CNN office borders that of O’Brien, the documentary specialist (“Black in America,” “Latino in America”) who says she’s happy for Amanpour, yet sorry to be saying goodbye.
“She’s great,” O’Brien tells Zap2it. “I would just love that when she’d do interviews, you could hear her on the phone and she’d say, ‘I reject that!,’ with that great accent. I’d be like, ‘Why do I not say that? I need to work that into my vocabulary!’
“She’s amazing, and I’m excited for her to go to ABC,” adds O’Brien. “Any time you have smart and powerful women in television, as someone who gets to learn from them, I just feel so lucky. I mean, you can rattle them off: Katie [Couric], Diane [Sawyer], Barbara [Walters], the handful.”
O’Brien notes she’s happy “to learn from the guys, too, but when it’s a woman who has a small child she brings to the office, and then she suddenly shows up in Afghanistan … for me personally, she’s an amazing role model.”
Now working on the Saturday, May 8, CNN documentary “Rescued” — about young survivors of the recent Haitian earthquake — O’Brien says she’s content to keep doing what she does at CNN, though she doesn’t rule out other opportunities.
“For me, it’s about searching out what I’ll get to do. That’s really what I look into. If there ever comes a point where I feel I’m not doing the kinds of stories I like, sure (a move elsewhere is possible). My goal is to tell great stories. CNN is committed to that, so I think my future is here. Hopefully, when I’m 96 years old, I’ll still be schlepping my bags to the airport.”
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