NEW YORK, June 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) today announced the winners of a three-month-long contest to find the next generation of television personalities who will host segments of the debut season of TWC's new talk show premiering this fall on TWC On Demand.
The winners were among hundreds of contestants who took part in casting calls in Charlotte, New York, Dallas and Los Angeles or who uploaded audition videos to the "Born to Shine" Facebook page. The winners are: Kornelius Bascombe of Raleigh, N.C., Carmela King of Dallas, T.X., Isis McKenzie of Los Angeles, C.A. and Ashlei Stevens of Brooklyn, N.Y.
The groundbreaking new program will spotlight African Americans who are paving the way in entertainment, in sports, and in their communities. As part of a company-wide multi-platform campaign, the talk show hopes to inspire others by providing diverse images on television.
The contestants auditioned at the casting calls in front of celebrity judges including actress, producer and singer Tatyana Ali, American Idol winner Ruben Studdard, hip hop artist Q-Tip, Grammy-nominated jazz artist Lalah Hathaway, BET's "106 and Park" host Rocsi, and legendary rap-duo Kid 'n Play.
"Time Warner Cable launched 'Born to Shine' to empower individuals by giving them an opportunity to demonstrate why they should be in the spotlight, while highlighting trailblazing African Americans in entertainment, sports, music, and the community," said Marisol Martinez, Senior Director of Target Marketing for Time Warner Cable. "We're excited to provide Kornelius, Carmela, Isis and Ashlei with the chance to pursue their personal passions while filling a void on television. Our winners are extremely talented. We just may have found the next Oprah!"
"TV One is especially excited to support Time Warner Cable, in its efforts to help diversify television programming, by developing a talk show that truly illuminates the impact African Americans continue to make in the entertainment industry," said Michelle Rice, Executive Vice President of affiliate sales and marketing, TV One, a cable network targeting African-American adults. "This type of content resonates well with the African-American community and will certainly entertain and encourage viewers."
"Time Warner Cable's 'Born to Shine' contest was one of the greatest experiences I've had," said Bascombe, a student at North Carolina State University. "I still can't believe I was chosen from such a talented group of people. This opportunity will truly help to further my dreams and I'm looking forward to interviewing amazing guests on the show."
2011 Time Warner Cable "Born to Shine" Winners:
Kornelius Bascombe, 22, Raleigh – Kornelius knew at an early age that the world was his stage. He launched the highest-rated television talk show on NC State’s campus where he is entering his senior year. Kornelius is passionate about community service and enjoys mentoring youth through his fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha. He recently participated in Oprah Winfrey Network's "Your OWN Show" competition where he placed fourth, garnering 5.9 million online votes nationwide.
Carmela King, 27, Dallas – Carmela earned her B.A. in Spanish from Tarleton State University in Texas. As a Spanish teacher, she enjoys educating and nurturing her students. Carmela has a strong passion for the performing arts, loves to travel and has a knack for languages and learning about other cultures. When she is not in the classroom, Carmela is recording music, both in English and in Spanish.
Isis McKenzie, 33, Los Angeles – As the oldest of three children, Isis was a "free spirited child," outgoing and always looking for exciting new experiences. A native of Los Angeles, Isis realized her passion for the industry after she was crowned Ms. Black California USA in 2005 and launched her own production company. She received a B.A. in Speech Communication from California State University, Northridge, and a master's degree in Organizational Leadership from Woodbury University.
Ashlei Stevens, 28, Brooklyn – Ashlei was born and raised in Columbia, S.C., and discovered her passion for public speaking at a young age. She earned degrees in Mass Communication and Modern Languages from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C. She resigned from her state government job and moved to New York City in 2009 to pursue her dream of becoming a talk show host. Since spring 2010, Ashlei has served as host and producer of DPVN Entertainment, an online entertainment show where she goes behind the scenes at major events to interview musicians, actors, visual artists and filmmakers. She currently works for an education non-profit organization.
About Time Warner Cable
Time Warner Cable is the second-largest cable operator in the U.S., with technologically advanced, well-clustered systems located mainly in five geographic areas – New York State (including New York City), the Carolinas, Ohio, Southern California (including Los Angeles) and Texas. Time Warner Cable serves more than 14 million customers who subscribe to one or more of its video, high-speed data and voice services. Time Warner Cable Business Class offers a suite of phone, Internet, Ethernet and cable television services to businesses of all sizes. Time Warner Cable Media, the advertising arm of Time Warner Cable, offers national, regional and local companies innovative advertising solutions that are targeted and affordable. More information about the services of Time Warner Cable is available at www.timewarnercable.com, www.twcbc.com and www.twcmedia.com.
SOURCE Time Warner Cable