by Chuck Colbert
New England Cable News’ (NECN) “Broadside” has named the publisher of Boston-based Bay Windows as its new host. She replaces the previous host who moved to a similar television news and talk show on WGBH, Boston’s public broadcaster.
Since early October, O’Connell has been hosting “Broadside.” However, next year she will be hosting a new show, “The Take with Sue O’Connell,” which will replace “Broadside.” Currently, “Broadside” provides commentary and analysis on the top stories of the day.
O’Connell will continue editing and publishing “Bay Windows” as well as its sister publication, the South End News, a general circulation neighborhood newspaper.
In a Facebook entry on October 6, she praised those in the community who helped her secure the host spot.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you,” O’Connell wrote. “Wow. Totally overwhelmed by the great support around my new position at NECN. So many of you watched, shared links, and urged NECN to hire me. I truly appreciate it. I promise I won’t let you down! More to come as we retool the show!”
During a recent telephone interview, O’Connell spoke about how her new gig came about. “When [previous host] Jim Braude announced that he was leaving NECN and going over the WGBH, I threw my hat in the ring. NECN knew it was going to keep ‘Broadside’ or a show like it. I started to audition last March. And after many, many auditions, NECN called to tell me I was going to be the host of a brand new show. So I am looking forward to January. The new show, ‘The Take,’ will be a topic-based news show, but will look at news in as interesting a way as it can. I hope to bring my personality into the mix as much as I can, interviewing newsmakers, lawmakers, entertainers, and people of note in the New England area. I hope to take the show out of the studio as often as I can, go to newsmakers where they are, and use social media to its fullest capacity. ‘Broadside’ does not do that.”
With social media, O’Connell said, the hope is “to stay engaged with our viewers where they happen to be.”
“The Take” will also be different in another way, she explained. “The show will also not just be posting segments. We will be re-editing the show and posting so people will have better ease of watching it when they check in with their smartphones or iPads.”
Altogether, “We will do what ‘Broadside’ did, but only with me and with a completely fresh and current and forward approach,” O’Connell said. “I think I am the only gay person in New England who has had a show on a major market talk show. NECN is an NBC affiliate, and that’s very exciting.”
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