The NAACP has taken the opportunity of CNN’s new lineup announcement to voice its disappointment with the Turner cabler and cable news in general over the dearth of black anchors and hosts in primetime.
“The NAACP is deeply concerned with the lack of African American journalists in prime time news, both on cable and national network news shows,” said organization prexy Benjamin Todd Jealous. Jealous said that he hoped to bring the disparity to the attention of net execs, observing that none of the cabler news nets — Bloomberg CNBC, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC — have a single show headlined or anchored by an African-American in primetime. The group contends that cable newsies have wider latitude than their buttoned-down broadcast counterparts to express opinions, making the perceived exclusion of black voices a particularly difficult pill to swallow.
Jealous noted the presence of guest hosts and weekend anchors including Al Sharpton, T.J. Holmes, Don Lemon, Russ Mitchell and Lester Holt at various news organizations. “Nonetheless,” he said, “we encourage all networks to acknowledge the talent that exists and to increase the diversity among their prime time anchors and hosts.”