Former CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien is hosting a one-hour prime time special focusing on the seemingly omnipresent opioid crisis.
The special, Matter of Fact: State of Addiction, will originate from the Newseum in Washington, and will air across Hearst-owned stations on September 13 at 10 p.m. ET / 9 p.m. CT.
The program part of a year-long multi-platform news and investigative series, supplemented with community-based efforts, that the Hearst station group launched earlier this year to inform local audiences of the opioid crisis and efforts to develop solutions.
The program will feature live inserts from the Hearst stations, interaction with the stations’ news anchors addressing the crisis in their respective markets, field reports from around the country, social-media elements to enable viewer engagement, and interviews – which will be confirmed closer to air date — with major national figures engaged with the crisis.
O’Brien currently hosts Hearst’s weekly syndicated political magazine show Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien, which premiered in August 2016.
“There is no doubt that the opioid epidemic is a national emergency and, quite frankly, a challenging story to cover,” said O’Brien. “Each day brings more disturbing instances of overdoses and family tragedies, and – although it is hard to watch – these stories need to be told.
“During this prime time special, and in partnership with our local stations, we will investigate the breadth, depth and impact of this crisis, and uncover new strategies and solutions to address it,” she added.
In the Kansas City market, the special will air on KMBC/KCWE, and features will include the results of a four month investigation into how opioids are being illegally trafficked into the city and an update on the establishment of a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program in Missouri.