Yeah, chicks that can do this are pretty badass.
There are three types of flacks in the world: Lifelong agency rats, bouncers (from agency to corporate) and hacks-turned-flacks. I’m the latter and one reason why would be the dreaded newsroom. There’s a sex appeal among PR pros about the newsroom — it’s the centerfuge of all things media, and kind of a turn-on (at least, that’s what I have heard).
But if you work in one, it can scare the bejeebers out of you.
You would think at the medulla of this brain matter would be many trained, skilled professionals hailing the title of “News Director,” and you would be right. And, according to the Women’s Media Center, the gross majority of those professionals would be men. It’s not even close.
Except in Dallas/Ft. Worth. And that’s not even close either.
Every year, the WMC publishes “The Status of Women in the U.S. Media.” Among the vexing statistics listed is this:
As newsroom staffing declined 6.4 percent from 2011 to 2012, the overall tally of women staffers continued to hover at 36 percent, a figure largely unchanged since 1999. Nevertheless, the count for women of color continued its more extreme fluctuations.
Here’s the census if you want to see for yourself. Something else, right?
So, somewhere in the 210 U.S. DMAs there must be an example of how women can succeed at the helm of newsrooms. Somewhere more liberally leaning in the northeast? Nope. Somewhere more stereotypically diverse up north? Nah. How about the mecca of all things novel in L.A.? Guess again.
Now, I admit wholeheartedly that I dig this as a native North Texan. However, for those not in the know, Dallas/Fort Worth was the first media market in U.S. history to have women as the Major-Domo of each big TV affiliate — ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC (no offense to CW and the Tribune Co).
Who woulda thunk it? So, applaud the high level of estrogen in Big D and Cowtown, because major media markets, this is how you get it done:
- KDFW-TV (FOX) — Robin Whitmeyer
- KXAS-TV (NBC) — Susan Tully
- WFAA-TV (ABC) — Carolyn Mungo
- KTVT-TV (CBS) — Adrienne Roark
Now, I don’t recommend all PR pros burn their bras upon walking in your local TV station, but VPs and GMs can find better qualified candidates among women, right? I loved my time in a newsroom, even when I led a couple, but it’s no picnic. Next up, check into the leading face of columnists and bylines in newspapers in the report.
Yeah, D/FW hasn’t cracked the code there either, but at least there’s hope.