Essence Communications partners with CNN, HLN and


CNN, HLN, and Essence Communications announced a partnership to develop “What Matters,” a series of weekly news segments focused on issues of importance to the African-American community. As an extension of the regular news items and features in Essence magazine, as well as the ongoing multicultural programming on CNN, the on-air and online segments will be hosted on CNN by Tony Harris and Don Lemon with contributions from Roland Martin, Fredricka Whitfield and T.J. Holmes, and on HLN by anchor Richelle Carey.

The recurring segment will debut on CNN on Friday, May 8, in the 12 pm hour and will feature topics ranging from 401(k) strategies to elder-care issues to pop culture. On HLN, the segment will be seen during “Prime News” each Friday in the 5 p.m. hour, and on Saturdays and Sundays in the 6 p.m. hour. Inspired by the monthly “Our News” section of Essence magazine, content for the segments will be developed collaboratively.

Online users also can view the “What Matters” segments on-demand at and on Mondays via Live.

The online content will be available beginning May 15. In addition, will offer users related articles, additional commentary, blog discussions and the opportunity to view the “What Matters” segments.

“Essence is proud to partner with CNN, HLN and to launch What Matters as a platform to inform, educate and define the cultural discussion,” said Angela Burt-Murray, Editor-in-Chief, Essence. “Last year’s collaboration on the Essence/CNN special ‘Reclaiming the Dream’ laid the groundwork for ‘What Matters’ – a project that will combine our reach and expertise to further the development of quality programming for African-Americans,” she added.

What Matters is sponsored by McDonald’s, who is also the presenting sponsor of CNN’s Black in America 2.