Parker Out at CNN's "Parker Spitzer"
Thursday, February 24, 2011
"CNN is reformatting 'Parker Spitzer' as an ensemble program with Eliot Spitzer — and without Kathleen Parker, who has been his co-host for the last four months," Brian Stelter reported Friday for the New York Times.
The development leaves room for a person of color to co-host a prime-time program on cable, but CNN did not name any person of color in its announcement.
Asked specifically whether people of color would be involved, a CNN spokeswoman said, "Like all of our programming, we will have on a range of people and perspectives."
In a memo to the CNN staff, Ken Jautz, CNN/U.S. executive VP, said, "We will be adopting an ensemble format with several newsmakers, guests and contributors joining Eliot Spitzer each night.
"The new program will be called, 'In the Arena,' beginning Monday. E.D. Hill and Will Cain will join the program as well others within and outside the CNN family.”
Stelter reported, "Almost since the day it started in October, 'Parker Spitzer' was mired by backstage clashes and disagreements. It never generated ratings traction. The New York Post reported as early as Jan. 10 that Ms. Hill and Mr. Cain were being considered as replacements for Ms. Parker."
The New York Post reported Sunday that the show has fewer than 540,000 viewers.
Last month, Steve Capus, the president of NBC News, told Journal-isms "it's inevitable" that people of color will be hosting prime-time news shows on cable television — but that MSNBC was happy with the evening team it installed after the departure of Keith Olbermann in the 8 p.m. Eastern slot.
CNN announced in September that Larry King's spot on CNN would be filled by another white male, Piers Morgan.
As reported in this space previously:
In June, two days after CNN hired the disgraced former New York governor to co-host "Parker Spitzer," the National Association of Black Journalists blasted the cable news networks for their failure to place African American hosts in such prime-time slots.
The CNN announcement prompted a story by Rachel Sklar in the online magazine the Daily Beast, "The Unbearable Whiteness of Cable."
"CNN just announced two new hosts for the 8 p.m. prime time hour recently vacated by Campbell Brown: Eliot Spitzer and Kathleen Parker," Sklar began.
"Last week, MSNBC announced that the new host for its 10 p.m. prime time show would be network staple Lawrence O'Donnell. What do these three people have in common (and thankfully for O'Donnell and Parker, it's not being caught with your socks down with a prostitute)? Pretty obvious: They're white.
"They're white like Chris Matthews is white, like Bill O'Reilly is white and Keith Olbermann is white, like Wolf Blitzer is white and Megyn Kelly is white and John King is white and Ed Schultz, Greta Van Susteren, Jake Tapper, Joe Scarborough, Bob Schieffer, David Gregory, Chris Wallace, Rachel Maddow, and Dylan Ratigan are white, not unlike the lion's share of their guests."
Former anchor Rick Sanchez left CNN after his complaints about the lack of anchors of color on the cable shows were quickly overshadowed by remarks about Jews in the same interview.
Retired ABC News anchor Carole Simpson has also spoken up on the subject as she promotes her new autobiography, "NewsLady."
"I think we've gone backwards," she told Howard Kurtz Jan. 23 on CNN's "Reliable Sources," scolding him for overstating the number of influential television journalists of color.
"There is nobody saying, 'oh, my, we really need to get more African Americans on the air, we need to get more Hispanics on the air, we need to get more Asians on the air.' Yet, America continues to become more and more diverse. And yet it is white men —"
Kurtz replied, "So we have an African American president, and you feel like the news business — the television business, I should say — hasn't gotten the message?"
Simpson said, "It's gotten worse. And that makes me very upset, because I worked very hard."
- Simon Miloy, Media Matters: The Most Terrorist-Fist-Jabbingest Name In News
In a New York Times video on the challenges faced by journalists in Libya, reported by Brian Stelter, a government spokesman claims journalists have exaggerated the number of dead. (Video)
"The warning from the U.S. State Department today was unusually stark. Libyan diplomats had told their American counterparts that journalists found to be inside the country illegally would be considered al Qaeda conspirators," Kirit Radia reported Friday for ABC News.
" 'Be advised, entering Libya to report on the events unfolding there is additionally hazardous with the government labeling unauthorized media as terrorist collaborators and claiming they will be arrested if caught,' the American warning said.
"Even before violence erupted last week, with government forces cracking down hard on protestors seeking its ouster, Libya was one of the most dangerous and restrictive places in the world for journalists to work. Under the totalitarian rule of leader Moammar [Gaddafi], strict controls were maintained over state media and visas for journalists seeking to do objective work were nearly impossible to come by.
"But with [Gaddafi's] control of many parts of the country shrinking, reporters pounced on the opportunity to enter the country where, only days before, broadcasters had to rely on phone calls from witnesses on the ground and videos of the protests that were posted online.
"Journalists trying to enter Libya from its eastern border with Egypt found themselves waved through by makeshift guards aligned with . . . the opposition who replaced officials that had abandoned their posts as the uprising swept that part of the country.
"CNN's Ben Wedeman, one of the first western journalists to enter Libya through Egypt, described being welcomed with cheers and showers of candy from locals. He described the feeling as being one of the first American jeeps to enter Paris after its liberation during World War Two.
"ABC News' Alex Marquardt also entered eastern Libya through Egypt yesterday, as did NBC News' Richard Engel. Several newspaper reporters, unburdened by conspicuous television equipment, have been able to report from other parts of the country, including some even from the capital Tripoli."
"Iraqi authorities cracked down on media: Security forces stormed a satellite TV office, detained dozens of journalists, and confiscated equipment, according to local journalists and news reports. In Yemen, at least four journalists were detained today, according to local journalists, and Al-Jazeera reported that its crew was prevented from covering demonstrations in Sana'a. Libyan border patrols confiscated cameras and SIM cards of journalists entering Libya from Tunisia, according to news reports."
In a series presenting views from African journalists on the Libyan situation, filmmaker and columnist Farai Sevenzo wrote for the BBC Friday that Col. Moammar Gaddafi's recruitment of African mercenaries has "only served to rekindle a deep-rooted racism between Arabs and black Africans."
"As things fall apart, the colonel is defiantly holding on with many reports suggesting that Africans, black Africans, are the crutches on which his depleted army is now hobbling," Sevenzo wrote.
"Thousands of foreigners are trying to flee the chaos in Libya. In the past week, the phrase 'African mercenaries' has been repeated by Libyan citizens and rolling news, eyewitnesses to the violence in Tripoli have spat the word 'African' with venomous hatred.
"Part of the Libyan story now is the scramble to escape of Turks, Germans, Indians, Englishmen, Italians, Malaysians and a host of other nationalities that include black men commonly known as Africans.
"In the violence of the last fortnight, the colonel's African connections have only served to rekindle a deep-rooted racism between Arabs and black Africans.
"As mercenaries, reputedly from Chad and Mali fight for him, a million African refugees and thousands of African migrant workers stand the risk of being murdered for their tenuous link to him."
- Hannah Allam, McClatchy Newspapers: At Radio Free Libya, change is on the air
- Committee to Protect Journalists: Journalists missing in Libya; one killed in Iraq bombing
- Wayne Dawkins, politicsincolor.com: Tunisia, Egypt, Libya: Uprisings beyond comparison
- Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, NPR: Provisional Government Forming In Eastern Libya
- Pew Research Center: Global Trouble Spots Top Public's News Interests — Strong Focus on Asia, Less Interest in Europe
- Brian Stelter, New York Times: Journalists Tiptoe Inside Forbidding Libya
- Marian Wang, ProPublica: The Latest on Crackdowns in the Mideast and U.S. Responses
- Alex Weprin, TVNewser: Al Jazeera’s Al Anstey: 'We are categorically anti-nothing, and pro-nothing'
- Alex Weprin, TVNewser: Cable Network Ranker: With Egypt In the Rear-View Mirror, CNN Falls back to Earth
"AOL content chief David Eun, the former Googler tasked with transforming AOL into a premier content destination on the web, is leaving the company, he told staffers Thursday," Sam Gustin reported Thursday for wired.com.
"Eun’s departure comes as Arianna Huffington is preparing to take the reins of AOL’s sprawling content operation, following the company’s $315 million acquisition of her website, The Huffington Post. Concomitant with Eun’s departure, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong announced a number of other organizational changes in the company, in anticipation of the merger’s consummation.
"With Huffington about to assume control of all of AOL’s content properties, Eun, a hard-working and likable executive, found himself as the odd man out."
". . . .The Huffington Post Media Group will house all content and 'local experiences' under Huffington, whose new title will be President & Editor-in-Chief."
Meanwhile, the Newspaper Guild announced Thursday it is leading a letter-writing campaign "to urge Huffington to show her commitment to journalism and to demonstrate her support of fair wages for her writers.
"Freelance writers, solitary and independent creatures by nature, are banding together in solidarity as part of a national movement to demand the Huffington Post to end its exploitive business practices and provide just compensation for its labor," an announcement said.
Mario Ruiz, Huffington spokesman, responded Sunday to Guild President Bernie Lunzer's campaign to urge the Huffington Post to share the $315 million with its writers.
"We couldn’t agree more with your goal of ensuring journalists are paid for their work. It’s why HuffPost has 143 editors, writers, and reporters on our edit team. But we feel there’s a critical distinction between our editors and reporters and the people who contribute to our group blog," Ruiz wrote.
"While we pay our editors and reporters, we don’t pay for the opinion pieces submitted by our thousands of bloggers."
- Robin Abcarian, Los Angeles Times: Arianna Online: AOL could use some of Huffington's cachet
- Michael Arrington, TechCrunch: AOL Exec David Eun Out – Here’s His Email To Staff
- David Carr, New York Times: At Media Companies, a Nation of Serfs
- Lauren Kirchner, Columbia Journalism Review: AOL Settled with Unpaid “Volunteers” for $15 Million
"Joseph Dyer, a retired KCBS-TV executive who was one of the first African American reporters hired by a major network television station in Los Angeles and later helped it set a standard for community involvement, died of heart failure Thursday at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles, said his daughter Monica. He was 76," Elaine Woo wrote for Saturday's Los Angeles Times.
"The son of Louisiana sharecroppers, Dyer was hired by KNXT-TV (which later became KCBS) as a writer and news producer in 1965, a few months before the Watts riots erupted. He was one of the few African American reporters to cover the unrest.
". . . In 1968, he was promoted to director of community affairs, a position he used to promote ethnic and racial diversity within the station and strengthen dialogue with outside groups that often were critical of its policies and coverage.
" 'Joe Dyer was responsible for the morale of most, if not every, black employee at KCBS,' said Tony Cox, who was an early morning anchor and reporter at the station in the early 1980s. "Television news can be very cutthroat. Joe was a person who educated a lot of us about the mechanisms and machinations of the television news industry and the corporate news world.' "
"My father belonged to a construction workers' union. My mother was a member of a union for seamstresses," local columnist Eugene Kane wrote last week in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
"I'm a founding member of the Milwaukee Newspaper Guild that represents employees in the newsroom. I didn't have to join the union; I choose to do so. So I guess you could say I'm a union kind of guy.
". . . This week, thousands of state workers and their supporters gathered in Madison to voice their opposition to Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to take away most collective bargaining rights for members of public labor unions.
"The plan was described as a cost-saving move to help ease the state's budget crisis but was also viewed by some as an attack on long-standing workers' rights in Wisconsin.
"As a result, state workers and union officials have basically declared war on Walker. It's likely to be a bumpy ride.
". . . Of course, unions aren't perfect. My father belonged to a labor union in Philadelphia that excluded African-Americans for decades before finally relenting after a series of civil rights protests. As a result of that advocacy, my father was able to purchase a house, raise a family and help put his children through college on his construction worker's salary.
"That's typical of the relationship between many African-Americans and labor unions that may have discriminated earlier in history but eventually opened membership to minorities and women. As a result, much of the nation's black middle-class economy has been sustained by good union jobs in both the public and private sector. Hopefully, that can continue."
- Andrew Gauthier, TVSpy: As WI Lawmakers Hide Out in Rockford, Local News Crews Find Themselves at Center of National Story
- Peter Hart, Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting: The Public Doesn't Hate Public Workers
- Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune: Union-busting goals
- Felix Salmon, Columbia Journalism Review: A New Twist on the Wisconsin Story With Gin and Tacos
- Gregory Stanford blog: A day of protest in Madison
Credit: Brooklyn Paper
"The online application for Time Warner's much-hyped minority internship looks a little different than programs run by companies like Disney and Google," Nitasha Tiku wrote for the Daily Intel section of New York magazine, citing a piece in the Brooklyn Paper of Brooklyn, N.Y.
"In addition to all the standard questions about academic achievements and volunteer work, Time Warner asks applicants to 'provide a letter of recommendation from a member of the NYS Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus.'
"The unusual requirement has led some to believe that the internship is more concerned with helping Albany lawmakers than minority students. A mentor at Brooklyn Tech High School told the Brooklyn Paper that the program teaches 'a hard lesson in cronyism,' he said. 'It’s a back-door effort for Time Warner to reward legislators. I guarantee you that minority kids are not hanging out with caucus members.' Just before the internship program was launched, Time Warner aggressively lobbied state lawmakers about ditching a $2 billion contract with the state, which the state ended up canceling in 2009. . . ."
The Brooklyn Paper story, by Natalie O’Neill, said, "Time Warner honchos in charge of the program did not return several calls seeking comment, but company spokeswoman Suzanne Giuliani said that the demand for a recommendation letter was 'a way of helping to spread the word.'
"It hasn’t worked."
"There aren’t many black student journalists at Yale. We’re talking single digits," Martine Powers, former associate managing editor for the Yale Daily News, wrote in a guest column in that paper in Friday.
"During my four years at the News, students of color on the editorial board have been few and far between. It’s the same for the Herald," another student publication. "I’ve never seen another black person in any of the journalism or writing seminars that I’ve taken. Since the Yale Journalism Initiative was launched in 2006, the number of black graduates of the program can be counted on one hand.
"None of this is surprising, considering the lack of black reporters — as well as Latino, Asian and American Indian reporters — in newsrooms around the country. In 2009, only 13.26 percent of reporters and editors at newspapers around the country were racial minorities of any kind, according to the American Society of News Editors.
"I’d like to think that everyone at Yale, and everyone in America’s journalism industry, recognizes this lack of newsroom diversity as a problem. But I’m not sure they do, mostly because no one ever talks about it. In English 467, 'Journalism,' newsroom diversity is not a topic for discussion. It’s rarely discussed at the News, unless we’re glancing bemusedly at the wall of photos of overwhelmingly white men from the last 132 years of editorial boards. And for all of the dozens of talks on 'the future of journalism' sponsored by the Poynter Fellowship, I have never seen an advertisement for a talk about the ways in which diversity will play into that future. . . "
- Ebony Tower at Yale: A Question of Coverage: BSC and the YDN
- Yale Daily News: Elis talk "State of Black Yale"
"Visalia native Michelle Macaluso is one of five new Fox News Junior Reporters from around the country. She'll report on the central San Joaquin Valley for the cable news channel and its various websites," Rick Bentley reported Wednesday for the Fresno (Calif.) Bee.
" 'The idea behind the program is to give the reporter enough cutting-edge gear that is portable enough and easy enough for them to be a one-person band,' says Sharri Berg, senior vice president of news operations and services at Fox.
"Along with Fresno, the reporters will be based in Las Vegas; Columbia, S.C.; Jackson, Miss.; and El Paso, Texas. Macaluso will work out of her home and at local Fox affiliate KMPH (Channel 26.1).
"The program puts reporters in areas where there's no permanent Fox cable staff. These reporters will put together feature stories while waiting for assignments to handle major news stories. It's also a way for young reporters to get practical experience before they move to local, network or cable news programs."
". . . The training program is for two years. At that point, the junior staffers could either be moved to one of the Fox news divisions or at least have a strong collection of stories to use as a résumé."
- "In 2010, for the first time in 15 years, more bank branches closed than opened across the United States. An analysis of government data shows, however, that even as banks shut branches in poorer areas, they continued to expand in wealthier ones, despite decades of government regulations requiring financial institutions to meet the credit needs of poor and middle-class neighborhoods," Nelson D. Schwartz reported Tuesday for the New York Times.
- Beyonce has been criticized after appearing in a photo shoot in the French publication L'Officiel Paris daubed with brown face paint. "The fashion magazine has defended the images, saying the star was 'paying homage to African queens' and claiming the make-up was inspired by African rituals where paint was used on the face," Britain's Press Association reported on Friday.
- "The Detroit Media Partnership is offering $5,000 to an individual or group of nonemployees with the winning idea for helping The Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press increase their audiences or better serve the community," Tim Devaney wrote Tuesday for the Detroit News. "The contest called IdeaQuest also will give another $5,000 for a winning employee idea. The entries — due by March 31 — will be winnowed down to five finalists through an online vote."
- Even for Latino journalists who break through in the field, "it's often still no picnic," Ruben Navarrette wrote this week for the Washington Post Writers Group. "The pioneers are likely to be weighed down by the pressure to succeed and frustrated by what they perceive as a lack of respect for them, their ideas and their community. It's not that the individuals who run media companies are anti-Latino; they just tend to have a gigantic blind spot when it comes to Latinos — or, for that matter, any ethnic group that doesn't fit in the traditional paradigm of black and white."
- In Detroit, Ed Fernandez, vice president and general manager of WXYZ-TV, announced a donation of $10,000 to benefit the Wayne State University Journalism Institute for Media Diversity. The donation on behalf of the station and the Scripps Howard Foundation is to provide financial support through scholarship dollars and to advocate for diversity in the media, the station reported on Thursday.
- "The long-debated argument over First Amendment rights and media access were at the center of a federal appeals court decision" that "ruled police had the right to handcuff an Oakland Tribune newspaper photographer and bar him from taking pictures of a freeway crash scene," Angela Woodall reported last week for the Oakland Tribune. "The photographer, Ray Chavez, argued that when police arrested him for taking pictures of a crash scene in May 2007, they violated his First Amendment rights. But on Wednesday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled 3-0 against Chavez," who was the National Association of Hispanic Journalists' 2008 Photojournalist of the Year.
- "Count Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) among those critical of the FCC's diversity efforts to date," John Eggerton wrote Thursday for Multichannel News. "While giving the Federal Communications Commission credit for diversity initiatives in the Comcast/NBCU merger, its efforts to promote fair ad rates for minority broadcasters, and other initiatives, he said he has been 'grossly underwhelmed' by what he called 'lip service and platitudes' from the commission about concluding proceedings, studies and reports that he says can dramatically affect the fortunes of minority viewers, listeners, new market entrants, established businesses, and entrepreneurs.' "
- "OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network just handed Lisa Ling a big vote of confidence, making her documentary series 'Our America' the network's first series to earn a pick-up for a second season," Scott Collins reported Thursday for the Los Angeles Times.
- "Telemundo has moved its morning show back to Miami, changed its talent, and revamped its format to include more entertainment in the hopes of attracting more viewers," Veronica Villafañe reported Friday for Media Moves. ". . .The network has dropped Alan Tacher and Idaly Ferrá from the show. Rashel Díaz remains from the original team. She's joined by Daniel Sarcos, Omar Germenos and Azucena Cierco. The show will also incorporate Ramón Zayas as an in-studio news anchor and producer. . . . Since its inception in August of 2008, 'Levántate' has been produced and transmitted out of Telemundo's Puerto Rico station, WKAQ."
- In Buffalo, news anchor Mylous Hairston ended his 20-year career with WIVB-TV Thursday, Hairston confirmed during a telephone interview, the Buffalo News reported Friday. "Hairston, president of the local chapter of AFTRA (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists), had been involved in contract discussions with LIN Media, owner of WIVB-TV. Members of the union working at the station have been without a contract since September 2008. 'My goal was to get a union contract in place and then look to transition into another field,' said Hairston. 'Unfortunately we were not able to reach an agreement on a new deal. I had been thinking about moving on, and it just made sense to do it now.' " Andrew Gauthier wrote in TVSpy: "Over the years, Hairston endeared himself to Buffalo viewers with his affability and candor. In 2009, he went public with his struggle with heart disease."
- Michael H. Cottman of BlackAmericaWeb.com started an "Ask the White House" feature this week, in which readers are invited to submit questions that "will be answered each week by President Obama's Cabinet members and White House Senior Advisors."
- West Africa correspondent Rukmini Callimachi of the Associated Press documented at least 113 bodies held in four morgues in the Ivory Coast. She won the AP's $500 Beat of the Week prize "for persistence at her own peril in uncovering proof of post-election killings in Ivory Coast," AP senior managing editor Mike Oreskes wrote in a memo published on the Poynter Institute site.
- WGBH-TV in Boston has posted a remembrance of Aloyce Beth DuVal Deare, the former producer (1978-1988) of "Say Brother" (now "Basic Black") and numerous WGBH documentaries. She died Feb. 21 in a fire at her home in Newton, Mass. "Beth’s talents earned her 13 Emmys and a Peabody Award during her tenure at WGBH — among them, an Emmy for 'In the Matter of Levi Heart,' a documentary about a Boston Police shooting. Her credits include 'Beacon to Freedom: Black Life in the Bay Colony,' which she finished in 2008 while undergoing treatment for throat cancer, and American Experience’s 'Midnight Ramble,' a 1994 film about the history of black filmmaking."
Richard Prince's Journal-isms originates from Washington and is published Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It began in print before most of us knew what the Internet was, and it would like to be referred to as a "column." For newcomers: The words in blue (on most computers) are links leading to more information. The Web site BugMeNot.com provides passwords and user names to some registration-only news sites, but use may be illegal in some states. Any views expressed in the column are those of the person or organization quoted and not those of any other entity.
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