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Roland Martin Out Of CNN Out In April As Jeff Zucker Releases Black Voices

Roland-MartinRoland S. Martin, the CNN Contributor who, with Mark Preston, helped launch my first national TV exposure via the news giant, is departing April 6th. This comes on the heels of CNN’s new President, Jeff Zucker’s decision to sack Solidad O’Brien.

Overall, with CNN bringing in Chris Cuomo and Jake Tapper, and the earlier departure of T.J. Holmes, who’s now with BET, there seems to be a run on black voices at the Atlanta Headquarters (something BET’s Cord Jefferson pointed to earlier this year). Counting, we have Holmes, O’Brien, and now Martin. (And as a note, I’d love to be proven wrong, so if you have evidence to the contrary, please contact me!)

Roland Used Twitter To Announce Departure

Mr. Martin Used Twitter To Announce He’s Leaving

Roland Martin first hinted at his departure with this Twitter tweet:

Then made it clear that April 6th was his last day:

After the social-media-based announcement, Martin send this email to POLITICO:

[My] agents notified me that they had been informed that at the conclusion of the two month extension granted in February, my last day at CNN would be April 6.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my little over six years there. There are many folks I will miss dearly, especially wonderful colleagues like Josanne Lopez, Soledad O’Brien, Ali Velshi, and so many bookers and producers.

But I also miss the folks I tried to speak for and represent the most when I was on the air: the men and the women who worked on the crew; the security guards; and even the janitorial workers. Those were the people I most spoke for; those were the people who would cheer me on as I walked down the streets, in the grocery store; and at airports.

I have had the likes of Harry Belafonte, Sidney Poitier, Spike Lee, Halle Berry, and others in sports and entertainment thank me for being an unwavering and unapologetic voice of truth, and unwilling to back down when someone needed to stand up.

Before I signed with CNN, I sat in the lobby of 1 Time Warner Center and said, “God, if it’s your will to be here, then so be it.’ I said the same these last two months.

I’ve worked hard to ensure that my voice wasn’t heard in one place. I will continue with my show on TV One, a network I was with before CNN; will continue my daily segment on the Tom Joyner Morning Show; and will continue my nationally syndicated column.

In my final days at CNN when I’m on the air, I will to do as the Tuskegee Airmen did, fight to the last hour, last minute, last second, for what is right. And I will do that as long as there is breath in my body.

Martin A Voice For People Of Color, The Poor; Replaced Paula Zahn In 2007

I will remember Roland on CNN as a voice for People Of Color, and for the poor. But I also will remember him as the person who launched my celebrity.

It started in 2007 when I made a video for the CNN / YouTube Democratic Debates that I called ‘the coin question.” This one:

To my surprise, the question made it onto the list of those asked the Democratic candidates. Toward the end of the telecast, it was picked and then-Senator and now Vice President Joe Biden answered it:

Then I got calls from people representing several CNN programs. To make a long story short, I wound up being flown to New York by CNN and appearing on a program called Roland Martin’s Debate This. Originally, Paula Zahn was to be the host of the program, but Roland replaced her after her well-publicized resignation. Here’s my video:

Then, I was asked to come on a second time. Here’s that appearance:

Roland Martin Will Still Talk, Just Somewhere Else

Roland Martin’s managed to expand his media universe very well since he came on to CNN. He’s a regular on the Tom Joyner Radio Show out of Dallas. He’s also known for a large Washington DC Party he hosts annually, and has invited this blogger to attend. I can’t see Roland’s star diminishing at any point in time.

As for CNN’s strategy, I’m not sure it’s the best one. African Americans are large consumers of TV news. It’s a good idea to have black voices talking to them. But that said, you also can’t have the taint of being biased against gays, and I think Roland may have ran into that issue after his not so smart range of tweets that were considered anti-gay.

This may have been the matter that caused CNN not to renew his contract – still, I think it’s a bad decision.

Stay tuned.

Zennie Abraham
Zennie Abraham | Zennie Abraham or "Zennie62" is the founder of Zennie62Media which consists of zennie62blog.com and a multimedia blog news aggregator and video network, and 78-blog network, with social media and content development services and consulting. Zennie is a pioneer video blogger, YouTube Partner, social media practitioner, game developer, and pundit. Note: news aggregator content does not reflect the personal views of Mr. Abraham.

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