Net reps, pols talk diversity

Closed-door meeting described as productive, amiable

WASHINGTON — Reps from the Big Four huddled with Capitol Hill lawmakers Tuesday, offering assurances that the networks take the issue of diversity seriously.

The closed-door meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus, the Hispanic Caucus and the Asian Pacific Caucus lasted well over two hours and was described as productive and amiable.

“It was a very, very good exchange,” a congressional aide said. “The members and the network reps agreed that the meeting was the beginning of a much-needed dialogue.”

Big Four execs attending included ABC senior veep John Rose, CBS senior veep Josie Thomas, Fox senior veep Mitsy Wilson and NBC exec Paula Madison. All the execs handle diversity issues for their respective shops.

More than a dozen lawmakers put in appearances at the session, with many of the pols offering to help personally. They also posed particular questions to the Big Four, which will be answered in future correspondences.

NAACP prexy Kweisi Mfume continues to threaten a viewer boycott of one of the Big Four, saying there needs to be more minority representation in broadcasting.