NEW YORK, June 18, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- "OUTBREAK: The First Response," a one-hour special presentation of "Matter of Fact with Soledad O'Brien" addressing the COVID-19 crisis, will air beginning on June 19 on each of Hearst Television's 33 TV stations across the country collectively reaching one of every five U.S. TV households.
The special will get a primetime slot on the Hearst stations; it will air in the first hour of primetime on Hearst's NBC and CBS affiliates on June 19th and on its ABC affiliates on June 24th. Hearst ABC affiliates will provide an additional run following late local news on June 19th.
"OUTBREAK: The First Response" will also air Sunday, June 28, at 9 p.m. on TEGNA-owned KONG-TV in Seattle, the first major U.S. city to be directly impacted.
Award-winning journalist and documentarian Soledad O'Brien will host the special which will be produced by Soledad O'Brien Productions for Hearst Television.
"Public health has been underfunded and ignored in this country for decades. Yet during a crisis like this, it is public health workers who are on the front lines educating the public about how to stay safe," said O'Brien. "We were able to follow their response to this crisis in real-time as they struggled to safeguard vulnerable communities."
"OUTBREAK: The First Response" explores the first wave of COVID-19 in the United States – when Washington state announced its first confirmed case almost five months ago to the day. The special chronicles the personal stories of social workers, nurses, public health officials and patients as they came to grips with the earliest days of novel coronavirus in America. "OUTBREAK: The First Response" addresses the impact of the first decisions that were made and the significance of the lessons that have been learned in order to prevent future waves of infection.
Rita Aleman, Hearst Television director of special projects, is overseeing the special along with related programming segments.
"How do we react when fear dominates our lives? This hour of television takes us back to first moments as we collectively came to realize that we were confronting a deadly threat," Aleman said. "In a deeply moving approach to story-telling, Soledad introduces us to a family living in their car, a daughter whose father is quarantined inside a nursing home, and a public health director whose decisions about how to protect a community would become a blueprint for the nation. With respect and humanity, Soledad explores the decisions each person makes, the ripple effects, and the impact on their lives and ours."
In recent months "Matter of Fact with Soledad O'Brien" earned a third consecutive Gold Telly Award for Best News Feature and an Iris Award of Excellence from the National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE).
The weekly, nationally syndicated half-hour "Matter of Fact with Soledad O'Brien" airs primarily on Sunday mornings on more than 150 stations reaching 95% of the country. KONG-TV is the show's Seattle affiliate. The show also appears three times weekly on the fyi cable network. "Matter of Fact with Soledad O'Brien" garners nearly 1.5 million viewers weekly, making it the country's #1-rated syndicated political TV show, outperforming every weekend daytime political show on cable.
This marks the second primetime "Matter of Fact" special; a 2017 special addressed America's opioid crisis.
"Matter of Fact with Soledad O'Brien" is produced by Hearst Television and distributed by Sony Pictures Television. The full list of "Matter of Fact" stations and show times, as well as other information and video clips, can be found at the program's website, www.MatterofFact.tv. Twitter followers can connect with the show via @matteroffacttv.
About Soledad O'Brien
Soledad O'Brien, host and producer of MATTER OF FACT, is an award-winning documentarian, journalist, speaker, author, and philanthropist. She is CEO of Soledad O'Brien Productions, a multi-platform media production company. O'Brien has produced non-scripted programming, dozens of documentaries, and presented live events, concert specials, and award shows on numerous platforms, including CNN, Nat Geo, HBO, NBC, MSNBC, A&E Network, and Lifetime. She currently reports for HBO's "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel." She was the host and Executive Producer of both Mysteries and Scandals on Oxygen and "Who Shot Biggie & Tupac?" on FOX. She is the author of two critically acclaimed books and winner of four Emmy awards, the George Foster Peabody Award and the Alfred I. DuPont Award. O'Brien and her husband also created the PowHERful Foundation, which helps get young women into and through college. Follow her on Twitter: @soledadobrien.
About Hearst Television
Hearst Television owns and operates 33 television and two radio stations serving 26 media markets across 39 states reaching over 21 million U.S. television households. Through its partnership with nearly all of the major networks, Hearst Television distributes national content over nearly 70 video channels including programming from ABC, NBC, CBS, CW, MY Net, MeTV, This TV, Estrella and more. The radio stations are leaders in Baltimore news/talk and rock music listenership. Hearst Television is recognized as one of the industry's premier companies and has been honored with numerous awards for distinguished journalism, industry innovation, and community service. Hearst Television is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hearst.
SOURCE Hearst Television