Press Releases: 12/15/09

MSNBC (1), CNN (1)


CNN Special “In God We Trust: Faith & Money in America” Examines Link Between Religion and Money in American Life

In a country that has one of the most diverse religious cultures in the world, CNN will examine Americans’ close ties between money and faith. Anchored by CNN business correspondent and host of Your $$$$$ Christine Romans, “In God We Trust: Faith & Money in America,” airing on Saturday, December 19th at 8pm ET (re-airing 11pm and 2am ET), will explore the intersection of how our religious values govern the way we spend our money. The special will feature one-on-one interviews with senior pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, TX Joel Osteen and best-selling authors Deepak Chopra and Mitch Albom.

In addition, the one-hour report will look at the nation’s religious affiliations, the mega-church boom and the separation (and some say the lack thereof) of church and state when it comes to money from religious lobbying firms. The special will also profile three families – one Christian, one Jewish, one Muslim – to see how they are adjusting to this economic climate while staying true to their religious beliefs.





NEW YORK—DECEMBER 15, 2009—MSNBC will ring in the new year with the premiere of “The Squeeze,” a new law enforcement documentary series based in Chicago, on Friday, January 1, 2010, from 10-11 pm ET.

The first episode, titled “Wanna Work a Number?,” originates inside Cook County Jail, the largest single-site jail facility in the United States. Cook County Jail—or “Crook County Jail,” as the inmates call it—occupies more than 10 city blocks and houses nearly 10,000 inmates at any given time. With more than 100,000 gang members in Chicago, it’s no surprise that 70 percent of Cook County inmates identify themselves as Latin Kings, Vice Lords or Gangster Disciples.

It is the job of the Criminal Intelligence Unit (CIU)—an elite group of only 30 members—to penetrate the gang barriers within the prison and gather information about gang activity throughout Chicago. “The Squeeze” will follow that intel from the jail to the streets, as CIU works with the Cook County Sheriff’s Police to bust drug houses, confiscate illegal weapons caches and even solve cold case murders.

The series also explores the “kill or be killed” attitude that pervades the Chicago gang culture inside and outside of Cook County Jail. Adrian Sandoval, one of the CIU members featured in the show, grew up on the very streets where these gangs now flourish. “Half the people I grew up with went into law enforcement—half into gang life. And half of that other half are now 6 feet under,” says Investigator Sandoval.

MSNBC and 20 West Productions secured unprecedented access to the Cook County Sheriff’s Department and Cook County Jail. This includes the investigation, planning and execution of one of the area’s biggest drug raids, “Operation Room Service.” The sting netted 100 arrests, more than $100,000 in narcotics and an arsenal of weapons.

“The Squeeze” is an MSNBC original series, and is produced by 20 West Productions. Elise Warner is the Senior Producer of “The Squeeze” for MSNBC. Melissa Cutlip and Scot Thor are Co-Executive Producers of “The Squeeze” for 20 West Productions. Lance Hori is the Series Supervising Producer and Steve Carroll is the Series Producer, also for 20 West Productions. Michael Rubin is Vice President, Long Form Programming for MSNBC. Scott Hooker is Senior Executive Producer, Documentary Production and Development for MSNBC.

Built on the worldwide resources of NBC News, MSNBC defines news for the next generation with world-class reporting and a full schedule of live news coverage, political analysis and award-winning documentary programming — 24 hours a day, seven days a week. MSNBC’s home on the Internet is delivers a fuller spectrum of news. Drawing on its award-winning original journalism, NBC News heritage, trusted sources and Microsoft’s advanced technologies, the site presents compelling, diverse and visually-engaging stories on the consumer’s platform of choice.

20 West Productions, founded in 2008, specializes in producing compelling documentary programming for the broadcast and cable marketplace. It is a division of Intersport, Inc, and is based in Chicago, IL. For more information about 20 West Productions, please visit


2 Responses to “Press Releases: 12/15/09”

  1. The MSNBC documentary sounds like it will fit right into their weekend Doc Block series.

  2. Ringing in the new year with another round of Lockup. Life is good..

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