Jillian O’Brien New ‘Matter of Fact EP

Also, Tolleah Price joins the Hearst weekly syndicated political magazine as its first supervising producer.

Jillian O’Brien, assistant news director at KSBW, Hearst Television’s NBC affiliate in Monterey-Salinas, Calif., has been named executive producer of the company’s weekly political magazine show Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien.

She succeeds Rita Aleman, herself a Hearst Television veteran who helped shepherd the show to record audience reach this season and who is returning to her native Wisconsin to be closer to her family. 

In addition, Tolleah Price joins the staff as the program’s first supervising producer, reporting to O’Brien. 

O’Brien — no relation to host and producer Soledad O’Brien — spent much of her career at CNN, serving from 2009 to 2012 at CNN International.

“Jillian is the ideal successor to build upon the very solid foundation developed by Soledad, Rita and the ‘Matter of Fact’ team,” said Emerson Coleman, SVP of programming at Hearst Television, who is the show’s executive in charge of production. “She is an Emmy- and Peabody Award-winning executive with more than 20 years of broadcast news experience. Her exceptional work within Hearst and the expertise she has exhibited throughout her career in managing special series, debates and breaking news coverage position her well for the storytelling and visual articulation that distinguish Matter of Fact.

“Jillian’s transition will allow her to overlap with Rita through the end of January and to prepare the show for continued growth and development in 2018. Tolleah’s invaluable skill set in news production and digital journalism brings an added dimension which will immediately help position the show’s development beyond traditional syndication,” Coleman added.

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“I’m thrilled that Jillian and Tolleah are so well positioned to build on our great success of the past year,” said Soledad O’Brien, “Matter of Fact” host and producer.  “They are savvy and highly experienced, full of ideas and have impressive backgrounds in journalism. We are all lucky to have them aboard and excited to be working under their leadership.”

Jillian O’Brien began her television journalism career as a desk assistant at CNN, then moving to KSBW for her first tour there, as a producer. She moved on to San Francisco’s KRON as an executive producer, where she was part of a team earning an American Women in Radio & Television regional award for outstanding newscast, before returning to CNN as a senior producer with, initially, CNN International and, later, with Headline News (HLN).

At CNN International she played integral roles on the Peabody-winning teams covering the 2010 Gulf oil spill and the 2011 Arab Spring. She later returned to KSBW as assistant news director, a position she held for four years prior to her new assignment, and during which she supervised the station’s Emmy-winning coverage of the 2016 Big Sur wildfires.

She holds a bachelor’s degree from Fordham University in New York and a postgraduate diploma in new media, governance and e-democracy from the University of Leicester in the U.K.

Tolleah Price began her television journalism career as a producer at WJRT Flint, Mich., later moving to WPTY Memphis and then to a writer/producer position at WTTG and Fox News in Washington.

She gained experience as a digital journalist at CBS News, serving as on-site producer for political conventions, debates and the 2013 Presidential Inauguration before moving to Al Jazeera America as the coordinating producer of America Tonight.

After developing and producing an award-winning digital documentary on America’s opioid crisis for Rare Media, she joined the team at NBC in Washington where she was promoted to the investigative unit.

She is a graduate of the University of Maryland in College Park and Oakland University in Rochester, Mich.                


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