Soledad O’Brien to Executive Produce and Moderate the National Geographic Bee

By Chris Ariens 

Soledad O’Brien has been tapped as the new moderator of the National Geographic Bee, TVNewser has learned. An announcement is expected Wednesday morning.

O’Brien will take over moderating duties from Alex Trebek who has hosted the Bee for 25 years.

The contest, which uses materials from the National Geographic Society, is designed to increase public awareness about world geography. Trebek is hosting the 25th annual event this week. The finals are set for Thursday night and will air on PBS at a later date. O’Brien takes over for the 2014 edition and her Starfish Media Group will produce the event in which thousands of schools compete for scholarship money.

O’Brien has another connection to Trebek. She was a guest on Celebrity Jeopardy! in 2009 competing against Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Michael McKean.

Trebek has said he will also leave Jeopardy! after the 2015-16 season. Notable TV news names who’ve been floated as possible replacements include Brian Williams, Matt Lauer and Anderson Cooper.