CNN, Essence Team To Produce News Segments

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CNN has partnered with Essence Communications, Inc. to create a series of weekly news segments focused on issues affecting the African-American community.

CNN's "What Matters" segments, which began airing May 8, are hosted by CNN personalities Tony Harris and Don Lemon, with contributions from Roland Martin, Fredricka Whitfield and T.J. Holmes.

A different set of segments will air on Headline News hosted by anchor Richelle Carey, according to the company.

Topics covered by the three to five-minute segments, which derive in part from regular news items and features in Essence magazine,  as well as the ongoing multicultural programming on CNN, will range from 401(k) strategies to elder-care issues to pop culture.

CNN will air the segments Fridays at 12 p.m., while HLN will run the vignettes during the 6 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday editions of its Prime News show.

Beginning May 15, online users can also view the segments on-demand at CNN.com and on Mondays via CNN.com Live.

In addition, Essence.com will offer users related articles, additional commentary, blog discussions and the opportunity to view the segments.

The "What Matters" segments will be sponsored by McDonald's, which is also the presenting sponsor of CNN's Black in America 2, the sequel series to 2008's groundbreaking initiative

"Our partnership with Essence has been a very productive one, and "What Matters" is an important next step in those collaborative efforts," commented Jon Klein, president of CNN/U.S in a statement. "The power of our two brands promises to continue to enhance the dialogue about issues important to our collective audiences."

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