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WASHINGTON, D.C., OCTOBER 6, 2017– Holland Cooke has taken over as host of RT America’s “The Big Picture,” previously hosted by Thom Hartmann.

The longest-running RT America show, “The Big Picture” tackles the latest in political news through debates, commentary and more. Whether it’s local, national or international, no story escapes coverage. After seven years of broadcasting, Thom Hartmann concluded his final episode by introducing Holland Cooke on his panel of guests as the show’s next host. New episodes with Cooke as host begin this Friday, October 6.

Addressing his departure from “The Big Picture” and RT America, Hartmann said: “I feel honored to have been with RT America as host of ‘The Big Picture.’ The opportunities given—from hosting the 2012 third party presidential debate to discussing such important issues as climate change and future US-China relations with some of the world’s highest regarded experts—I would not likely have found at other networks. I appreciate the enthusiasm and interest in the show, demonstrated by the millions of views and positive feedback we have received over the years. Thank you for watching, and I encourage you to continue to watch and know that our old episodes remain on The Big Picture YouTube channel.”

Hartmann is a friend and colleague of Cooke. “I know, like, and respect Holland, and am looking forward to watching The Big Picture with him as the presenter. He’s smart, talented, and a decent and caring human being,” Hartmann said of the new host.

Cooke has worked in television and radio for nearly 40 years. He’s held a variety of on-air and management positions, not the least of which was his seven-year tenure as the operations manager of WTOP Radio in Washington, DC, during which time the station scored its highest ratings to date in the all-news format. In 1991, Cooke founded FliteCom Systems, Inc., which became USA TODAY Sky Radio, the live-via-satellite news, sports and talk audio channels heard on Delta, Northwest and United Airlines. The technology they developed evolved into Sirius Satellite Radio. On January 1, 1995, Cooke began consulting full-time and was named news/talk specialist by McVay Media, the largest radio programming consulting firm in the world. His work includes programming and marketing strategies for talk radio stations from Alaska to New Zealand, career counseling for radio talent and podcasters, and internet development for entrepreneurs, companies and radio personalities.

“I’ve always been intrigued by RT America, because of what it isn’t, and what it is. What it isn’t? It’s not the shouting match that talk radio and much of cable news has degenerated into,” Cooke said of his move to the network. “What it is? More light than heat. More thoughtful, curious treatment of stories that only get headlines and quotes du jour on other channels. Stories get to ‘breathe’ here. And there’s more variety here, stories that matter but don’t show up elsewhere. And the opportunity to work alongside the talent here? Where do I sign!”

Holland addressed taking over for his friend Hartmann by saying: “Because this is RT America’s longest-running show, Thom Hartmann leaves me big shoes to fill. As brothers in the Talk Radio family, Thom and I have known each other for years, so I understand the guy who’s passing me that baton.”

New episodes of “The Big Picture” with Cooke as host begin airing Friday, October 6, at 7 pm EST.

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