Why Are People Of Color So Often Overlooked For Anchor Slots?

By Alex Weprin Comment

Tampa Bay Times TV critic Eric Deggans writes for Poynter about cable news and minorities. Specifically, he asks why whenever plum anchor jobs arise, journalists of color are so often overlooked. He uses the imminent departures of Soledad O’Brien and Roland Martin at CNN as an example, while noting that neither FNC nor MSNBC have made any effort to add diverse voices in a long time.

More than anything, the lack of diversity in some anchor shuffles may speak to a lack of development for anchors of color in general. Maintaining diversity in the face of shrinking resources and cost-cutting often requires specific effort; if people aren’t being groomed for bigger jobs, they may not be ready when those prime positions open up.

Fielding a diverse slate of anchors at the highest levels can ultimately help diversify content, and it reflects America’s increasing diversity. Opportunities remain for developing talent. Despite rumors that Erin Burnett may be paired with Cuomo, the official shape of CNN’s new morning show hasn’t yet been revealed, and Kornacki’s departure may leave an opening at “The Cycle.”