Raleigh-Durham, N.C., June 23, 2011 – Raleigh, N.C. resident Kornelius Bascombe’s dream of television stardom has just come true. After a three month search, Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) named Bascombe as one of the four aspiring television personalities to win the cable provider’s nationwide “Born to Shine” contest. The winning contestants will host segments of the debut season of TWC’s new talk show series premiering on Time Warner Cable On Demand this Fall. The program aims to create diverse original content spotlighting African Americans who are paving the way in entertainment and the community.
“I was speechless when I got the call from Time Warner Cable saying that I had been chosen as one of the four hosts,” said Bascombe, 22. “There are limited opportunities for young people to get real experience in hosting and I am eager to learn from the successful African Americans I will connect with through the show. I knew my life was going to change by being a part of this amazing program and thought to myself, ‘hard work pays off.’”
Bascombe’s high energy and compassion for helping and connecting with others sparked his interest in hosting, but his passion for the industry peaked after he launched a successful television talk show on North Carolina State University’s campus where he is currently enrolled. It quickly became the highest rated show on the university’s television network.
He also entered the Oprah Winfrey Network's "Your OWN Show" competition. Bascombe was a favorite of the fans and producers alike, garnering an astonishing 5.9 million online votes nationwide, and placing 4th overall in the online competition. Despite a series of personal struggles, including his grandmother and only caretaker’s sudden illness followed by a devastating home fire, which forced Bascombe, at 17 years old, to take care of his two younger brothers and older sister, Bascombe never lost sight of his dream to make a name for himself within the entertainment industry.
Bascombe, along with Ashlei Stevens of Brooklyn, N.Y., Carmela King of Dallas, T.X. and Isis Mckenzie of Los Angeles, C.A., was chosen from the more than 500 contestants who either lined up to participate in the live casting calls held in Charlotte, New York City, Dallas and Los Angeles or uploaded their audition video to the Born to Shine Facebook page. During the casting calls, contestants auditioned in front of celebrity judges including actress, producer and singer Tatyana Ali, American Idol Season 2 winner Ruben Studdard, hip hop artist Q-Tip, Grammy-nominated jazz artist Lalah Hathaway, BET’s “106 and Park” host Rocsi, and legendary rap-duo Kid ‘n Play, among several others.
All contestants were judged based upon their personality, presence, creativity and execution of a mock interview. For those contestants who auditioned during local casting call events, feedback was provided by the panel of judges, while votes from the program’s Facebook community accounted for 20 percent of the score for those who submitted a video online.
“All of our contestants were extremely talented and it was truly a hard decision to pick the winners,” said Marisol Martínez de Rodríguez, Senior Director of Target Marketing for Time Warner Cable. “Time Warner Cable launched this initiative to empower individuals to actualize why they were born to be in the spotlight by giving them the opportunity and exposure needed. Our four hosts will play an instrumental role in helping us tell the stories of African Americans trailblazers in entertainment, sports and the community.”
TWC launched this competition as part of a company-wide, multi-platform campaign. The groundbreaking talk show hopes to inspire others by providing diverse images on television.
“TV One is especially excited to support Time Warner Cable, in its efforts to help diversify television programming, by developing a talk show that truly illuminates the impact African Americans continue to make in the entertainment industry,” said Michelle Rice, Executive Vice President of affiliate sales and marketing, TV One, a cable network targeting African-American adults. “This type of content resonates well with the African-American community and will certainly entertain and encourage viewers.”
About Time Warner Cable
Time Warner Cable is the second-largest cable operator in the U.S., with technologically advanced, well-clustered systems located mainly in five geographic areas — New York State (including New York City), the Carolinas, Ohio, Southern California (including Los Angeles) and Texas. Time Warner Cable serves more than 14 million customers who subscribe to one or more of its video, high-speed data and voice services. Time Warner Cable Business Class offers a suite of phone, Internet, Ethernet and cable television services to businesses of all sizes. Time Warner Cable Media, the advertising arm of Time Warner Cable, offers national, regional and local companies innovative advertising solutions that are targeted and affordable. More information about the services of Time Warner Cable is available at www.timewarnercable.com, www.twcbc.com and www.twcmedia.com.
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