Former ‘Defender’ Editor Martin to CNN

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By: E&P Staff

Former Chicago Defender Executive Editor Roland S. Martin is joining CNN, the news network’s president, Jon Klein, announced Tuesday.

CNN said Martin would be a contributor to several programs effective immediately, and that “in the coming months, the network will develop various other programming concepts around him.”

Martin said in an interview that under the arrangement with CNN he will be in New York City about three days a week contributing to various network shows.

Chicago will remain his home base, and he will continue hosting the morning drive-time talk show on WVON-AM, a black-oriented radio station.

“Right now we’re solidifying the contribution relationship, which frankly I’ve been doing on a regular basis for the last four years,” Martin said. “Now I’ll get paid for what I’ve already been doing.”

Martin left the Defender earlier this year after nearly single-handedly turning around the ailing black-oriented daily. He launched the Web site for the paper, which was probably the last U.S. daily to go on the Internet. Martin later added audio and video podcasts. He had a stormy relationship with the paper’s ownership, however, and was “reassigned” out of the editor’s seat a few months before his employment contract expired.

Martin said he will continue to write his column syndicated by Creators Syndicate. Martin is the author of “Listening to the Spirit Within: 50 Perspectives on Faith,” and “Speak, Brother! A Black Man’s View of America.”

“As a multifaceted journalist steeped in the traditions of storytelling and truth-seeking, Roland offers a powerful voice on subjects ranging from politics to religion to race to numerous other social issues,” CNN/U.S. President Klein said in a statement.

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