As if CNN does not have enough problems – with abrupt exits first by anchor Chris Cuomo, then former president Jeff Zucker because of an undisclosed relationship with subordinate Allison Gollust, then Gollust herself – now, some of the very people who spend a lot of time talking about “diversity!” are being accused of, well, not enough diversity.
Earlier this week, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists went after CNN for a lack of diversity on their new premium streaming service, CNN+.
"This lack of representation is not only disrespectful to our diverse community, but also disregards the well-qualified Latino talent pool within the organization.”https://t.co/MHE4IDdMKe
— IJR (@TheIJR) March 3, 2022
The group mentioned Chris Licht, who was named new head of the network last weekend. Licht rose to prominence with the creation of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and then produced Steven Colbert’s late night show.
The statement put out by the group read in part,
“This lack of representation is not only disrespectful to our diverse community, but also disregards the well-qualified Latino talent pool within the organization. We expect Chris Licht to do better to ensure that CNN hosts delivering the news reflect the communities they cover, and that diverse candidates are given equal opportunity.”
Chris Licht will take Jeff Zucker’s place as CNN’s president. And if you believe that the former executive producer of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and MSNBC’s Morning Joe is going to steer the network away from prime-time partisanship given that track record… OK then. https://t.co/5D2PyOHtQp
— Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) February 26, 2022
It was just six months ago that CNN made a big show of their diversity bonafides, launching the “We Are CNN” campaign.
The ad campaign was designed to showcase the latest buzzword, “diversity, equity, and inclusion” at the network.
One part of the campaign includes CNN founder Ted Turner saying, “We hope that the Cable News Network will bring a better understanding of how people from different nations, can live and work together, in brotherhood, in kindness, and in peace.”
All these efforts have apparently been for naught.
— NAHJ (@NAHJ) March 3, 2022
In response to the assertions made by the NAHJ, CNN told The Hill,
“As a longstanding partner of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, we are proud to launch CNN+ with a very diverse lineup including the previously announced Eva Longoria: Searching for Mexico, which is currently in production. We continue to have discussions with journalists across the industry around opportunities at CNN+ and look forward to announcing more diverse shows, talent and content offerings soon.”
As CNN gets ready for start up of CNN+, journalist Glenn Greenwald asked what might be a very important question given the recent ratings of the network.
How many people are going to pay to watch CNN+ when so few are willing to watch CNN for free?
I'm not asking to be disparaging but earnestly: What's the business rationale for believing that TV personalities on CNN who nobody wants to watch when it's on for free free will suddenly find an audience which has to pay to watch? Don Lemon's audience is shockingly miniscule. https://t.co/wrqqkyqr4q
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) February 1, 2022