Excuse us while we never stop high-fiving: We just got the go-ahead to announce that Jacob Soboroff and Cara Santa Maria, two of our favorite young television professionals, have signed on to host our new flagship daily news and talk show, TakePart Live.
The dynamic duo, who until recently were colleagues at The Huffington Post, will make their Pivot debut on August 1 when TakePart Live—and the network—go live.
Until this week, Soboroff was a host and producer for HuffPost Live. TakePart readers might recognize him from his stint as the host of our acclaimed Civics in a Minute animated series, which was streamed during the 2012 election cycle. He has also served as a correspondent for AMC News, and contributed reporting to CNN, NPR’s Weekend Edition and PBS’ Wired Science.
Santa Maria has also worked at HuffPost as its chief science correspondent, and as the host of its Talk Nerdy to Me series. She has also served as the lead anchor for Hacking the Planet and The Truth About Twisters for The Weather Channel, and has been featured in Scientific American, The Times (U.K.) and the Columbia Journalism Review.
TakePart Live, whose tagline is “Do something with the news,” is a fresh take on the daily news and headlines for millennials and is geared toward inspiring engagement, inquiry, and action. Like its namesake site, TakePart.com, the show will connect content and action: Viewers who want to read more or get involved in an issue they see addressed on the show can go to TakePart.com and Pivot.tv to find ways to act.
And, duh, the hosts share our enthusiasm. “How many times have you watched the news and said, ‘Man, I really want to do something about that’? ” Soboroff says. “On our show, you’ll actually have the chance to take specific and direct actions on the issues and stories we’re talking about every day. We are going to connect the dots between the stories on TV and people on the ground who have skin in the game.”
Santa Maria, too, has big expectations. “I really want people to be able to come to the show to find what they’re missing,” she tells TakePart. “We’re not going to focus on the stories that are being crammed down their throats via the 24-hour news cycle. We want to find the stories that matter most to young people, and offer nuanced perspective and context in an often overwhelming media landscape.”
As part of that conversation, TakePart Live is embracing Pivot’s newly unveiled network-wide social-action initiative on Digital and Media Literacy.
The campaign, called “Eyes Wide Open,” invites viewers to consider their sources, recognize their own roles as sources when they produce or share content, and consider the issues involved in giving up personal information online.
“We want TPL to inspire viewers to get more involved with the news they consume and the media they use,” says Craig Parks, SVP, Digital & Live Programming for Pivot. “One thing we hear again and again from our audience is that they want the news to help them make more informed decisions and help them figure out how they can get involved in making a difference around issues they care about.”
The initiative includes a media partnership between ABC News/Nightline and Pivot/TakePart Live, with both networks jointly airing segments and cross-promoting on-air and online. Six short-form investigative segments will air between August 1, 2013 and July 31, 2014. Talent and/or producers from Nightline will appear on TakePart Live when the segment airs.
According to a study of millennials’ media habits released in conjunction with the launch of the campaign, 80 percent of 18-34-year olds say it’s hard to know which media sources you can trust to deliver the truth, and more than one in three (38 percent) frequently share news or information without checking the source.
As part of “Eyes Wide Open,” viewers can go online and find Pivot’s transparent advertising policy, take a quiz on their own digital and media literacy, and find recent headlines powered by TakePart.com.
All of which is pretty cool, and beautifully suited to our two new hosts. Both Soboroff and Santa Maria are well known for their insightful and unconventional approach to news reporting and analysis. We're all excited to have them represent the media literacy campaign, as well as Pivot’s commitment to connecting millennials with the entertainment and information they care about most.
Soboroff, for one, has serious aspirations for the show: “I want people to laugh, cry and get pumped up watching TakePart Live.”
We'll tune in for that.
TakePart Live airs at 12 a.m. ET/9 p.m. PT, starting August 1. To learn where to find Pivot in your area, check out Pivot.tv.