Monday, June 6, 2016

Where's All the Black Folk in Bay Area TV News?

 I'M NOT A GUNG-HO "White/Black/Asian/Hispanic" person counter. I'd like to say I'm an emphatic "I don't really care about the color of a person's skin" but then again I do believe that a community that brags about its diversity and culture would be so devoid in that department when it comes to Local TV News Media.

There's not a lot of Black reporters and TV anchors in the San Francisco Bay Area.


At KGO-TV, there's only four Blacks: Carolyn Tyler, Spencer Christian, Ama Daetz and Eric Thomas. Not one full-time African-American reporter except Tyler.

KRON has four Black correspondents --Stanley Roberts, Philippe Djegal, Avery Harper, and Alicia Reed. They have one part-timer. Not one Black anchor. Pam Moore, just one Black anchor.

KPIX: incredibly only one Black reporter, Christin Ayers. Not one Black anchor. Shameful.

KTVU: A morning Black anchor and a handful of black reporters. Shameful.

KNTV: Two black reporters, not one Black anchor. Shameful.

This is rather embarrassing and sad; actually, quite telling too. And believe me when I tell you I'm not the only one who believes there's something wrong with this--just the only one who will make light of it; again, just real shameful.

Embarrassing too.

*415 Media

42 comments:

  1. Looks to me like it's time for some social promotion.

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    1. How the fuck would I know where they're all at?!?

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  2. Especially given the narrative that has been circulating in this country. More than ever news stations criticize law enforcement and politics for not valuing black lives.. They talk the talk but can't walk the walk. If anything, Bay Area news is shedding their black talent. I can think of Nick Smith, Erica Kato, Kraig Debro, and David Stevenson off the top of my head. Probably many more if we go back further and include Dana King, Barbara Rodgers. Oh and the demotion of Eric Thomas comes to mind.

    In the Bay Area, it is fact that African Americans are large consumers of TV broadcasts. I don't watch KPIX but it is a shame they only have ONE? And I agree, it is embarassing. After what they did to Dana, I had a hunch that they were racist. KNTV does probably the best job with overall diversity. Hope your post inspires some change and quick action, Rich.

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    1. Large consumers of tv broadcasts but not large consumers of the advertisers paying for those broadcasts.

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    2. Ever go to an event where the talent is recruited, like the annual RTNDA meeting? Count the black faces there. Trust me, the few who show up get recruited, even if they suck. They just aren't interested.

      Go to colleges and see how many blacks are enrolled in English or Journalism courses. Then go see how many are there on ball scholarships. It's no mystery, and no nefarious racism. It's supply and demand. Deal wth it. You can't put a gun to a black person's head and say, "Go into journalism" any more than you can put a gun to the head of a Jewish person and say "Play basketball."

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  3. I'd really like to know where all the French-Italian Basques are! And all the Jewish Norwegian Seven-Day Adventists!

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    1. I myself have noticed a shortage of Austro-Hungarians and Palestinians on my local news.

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    2. The one Mormon Aborigine who used to work at KRON quit recently.

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  4. I think our local TV faces are pretty diverse; there are people from a variety of ethnic backgrounds and skin pigmentations.

    Actually, I kind of have a problem with these kind of quotas and head-counts: it's not very "post-racial" to start categorizing, itemizing and counting heads based on arbitrary criteria: "Ooh, we need to hire another person with ___ color skin / hair / eyes / whatever. ..we don't have a representative number of short people on staff, quick go hire some idiot so we make our quota before someone notices....."

    How about we hire people on merit, without allowing any one "kind" of person to achieve an overwhelming dominance. The rest is just divisive.

    Besides once you start counting, it gets weird fast: Is sh/e "back" enough to be on your list? Are all "black" people the same thing, or do people who may have come from an African country count differently than people who were US born? What if the person had "black" features, but was born in another "white" country, like the UK? Do they count the same? Do you count mixed race people as "half" a headcount, or what? So on and so forth. It's just divisive.

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    1. You're too smart for this bunch. Go away.

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  5. HUH?

    Simply put, we need more people of color that represent the communities they serve. Currently im the Bay Area TV landscape, blondes of average looks and a ton of Chinese/Vietnamese field reporters dominate the scene. It is very scary (from a reporting and editorial standpoint and aesthetic standpoint) to not include African Americans and even mixed race individuals. There are no checks and balances. Many of the issues the news is reporting on is not UNDERSTOOD by the editors, reporters, and managers in these newsrooms. Sorry, but I don't need Liz Cook to tell me about race relations in Oakland. Also, the positions with the most "face" time including news anchors, sports anchors, weather people, and traffic reporters have close to zero Black talent.

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    1. Did it ever occur to you they hire who applies? Ever go to a RTNDA conference? —Didn't think so...

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  6. KRON doesn't have a single Mexican American reporter. I cant remember the last time they had one- decades? Marty is part time anchor and soon to retire. Considering M-A's are half the bay area?..that's a problem hard to explain away.
    OR..how about management? How many have ever been a News Director? None. For any bay area station that isn't Telemundo-even THEN,few if any are in upper management even THERE
    So,none is a number that screams for legal action. Unless you think NO Mexican American ever born has merit to work in kron management. I stifle my laughter.

    Kron's Backstory? No Asian,Browns at the round table deciding how the news should be presented. More screaming..of "We own ALL the power jobs".

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  7. You don't care about the color of one's skin but use it as an end to more diversity?
    Per the 2010 Census (all 9 Bay Area Counties), the racial makeup was:
    46% White
    24% Hispanic
    23% Asian
    6.7% African American
    balance being Pacific Islander and other.

    If anything, Hispanics are under represented, not African Americans.

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  8. Okay, Rich. Let's say we make TV anchors and reporters look like the Bay Area. According to the 2010 Census, that means 42.4% of them will be white, 23.5% Hispanic, 23.0% Asian and 6.5% African-American.

    Are we far off from that now?

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  9. If you are going to count and criticize, you better do it right. KRON has Robin Winston in the morning doing traffic and Britney Shipp doing the weather in the evening. That is major airtime. I think KRON has the most in the market. KTVU has Dave Clark in the morning, that is major, plus Keba Arnold. Plus it has reporters Jesse Gary and Paul Chambers. Seems plenty to me, plus they have a good amount of others...Gasia is Armenian, and others are Asian or Spanish/Mexican.

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    1. @11:32
      Yup. Absolutely right. KRON does a fine job of featuring various groups (i.e.-ethnicity, age, gender). No other station is as diverse as KRON.

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  10. Bob Teague FTW!

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    1. The great Bob Teague was a pioneering African-American Male television reporter & anchor in New York City. Started out as a reporter for the New York Times & was hired by WNBC TV New York in the very early 1960's as one of the very first Male African-Americans TV news reporters. Had the pleasure of watching him evolved from a fledgling reporter to a wonderful TV lead news anchor on several stations in the New York market from the mid 1960's to the early 1990's. Was the East Coast version of our Dennis Richmond. Keep up the great work Rich!

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  11. It's fine- the viewers are voting with their eyeballs. KPIX is dead last in almost all slots, so they can continue to stick with their one and see how that pans out for the future of the station.

    Also, what worries me is so many news stories are about/impact the black community, yet there is so little representation

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  12. Fuck's sake, Rich---SACRAMENTO has a higher black percentage. Damn near 11 percent! 11:24's right---Donde esta los Latinos and las Latinas?

    Better yet, just send a limo to El Cerrito to pick up Van Amburg and ask him what he thinks on an open mic at Channel 7. If he needs prompting, just tell him to scream what he's been screaming at his TV at 5, 6 and 11 for the past 30 years.

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    1. Where are the Latinas? Really? Everywhere. Pick a station, they've got 'em.

      Why do you have to have news read by someone who "looks like you," however, is the big question. They just read the news. The actual gathering is done almost entirely by older, overweight, not-pretty-enough-for-TV whites, mostly males. They're the ones with the news chops? Why? Genetics? Intellectual superiority? No, go into journalism schools and see who's taking classes. If pretty Latinas or pretty much anybody else gets into the news business, they're so often failed beauty contest contestants or models or actresses. So they have zero brains and couldn't ad lib for ten seconds if the prompter went down. The real brains in the news operation look more like Captain Sweatpants from The Big Bang Theory, but they'll never put someone like him on the air, regardless of how qualified he is. Offended? It's the truth. Deal with it. It all started when being a news anchor became a beauty contest position (anyone on Fox, almost anyone locally) or a Rainbow Coalition position (Ed Bradley, Juan Williams, Dennis Richmond, Pam Moore) rather than a journalism position (Rather, Murrow, Reasoner, Sevareid.)

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  13. Affirmative Action is discrimination in reverse and discontinued by the very organization that started it, the U.S. Government.

    Affirmative Action has been deemed "illegal" by the U.S. Government. You can no longer hire people, to fill a "quota" because of skin color, you are breaking the law and will be held accountable!

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    1. > Affirmative Action has been deemed "illegal" by the U.S. Government.

      No it hasn't. Try googling for ten seconds before you post.

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    2. "Try googling for ten seconds before you post."

      Yes, the Internet is much more reliable than case law.

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  14. Dennis Richmond And Belva Davis wouldn't give a rats ass about this subject

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  15. Wake up people. Black people ARE the news. Who are subject of those news stories? Any story about Oakland is about black people. Any story about a shooting of most any kind or most of the crime stories are about black people. Is somebody poor, a street person, or having housing problem? Again mostly black people are the stars of most of the stories in the Bay Area. San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland - black people are on the news all over the place. What would happen if all the Bay Area black people disappeared? I'd bet the most of the local newscasts would disappear as well.

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    1. Yeah, then they'd have to do stories on neo-Nazis.

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  16. Television managers want all their people working for them to look like them, including on-air and behind the scenes.

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    1. I always knew KPIX was racist

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    2. I wish KPIX would start discriminating against and eliminating fat people instead of Blacks

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    3. Dan Rosenheim likes them average looking with an above average BMI

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  17. Somehow Vern Glenn seems to have dropped off this conversation's radar. Now he used to be at KRON and now at KPIX. Talented and a decent guy. Also I'm sure there many behind the scenes people that are African Americans.

    There seems to be a hyper focus in this discussion and blog on the sensitivity of presentation which garners ratings. It's a business after all so why not design your presentation with the demographics of the area as already mentioned. It makes sense to me but I do wish there was African American anchor but there you have it.

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    1. It might be appropriate to ask the camera and lighting people about this anomaly. I'm sure they'd say, 'when light-skinned people are shown in the same frame as dark-skinned people the darker ones lose definition.' That can be disturbing to both viewers and news directors. And ultimately, of course, to dark-skinned people.

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  18. austro Hungarian isn't the same as black ,dummies-austro Hungarians are ETHNIC, not 'racial'' dumass American creeps-yes I've traveled ,been to roma ,Napoli ,Africa. you ''merican's '' are seen as dog doo in southern Europe.

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  19. I'm pretty sure Vernon Glenn is still black.

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  20. My guess is that the O&O stations are no different in their practices as the major cable and TV networks. Diversity is a punch-line, IMHO.

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  21. In real life, there are more African-Americans (or blacks) on TV than most people in the Bay Area might meet in their daily lives or at there work place. That is certainly true for me.

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  22. KRON's Haaziq Madyun (sp?). Like his reporting, but think he needs deviated septum surgery; always want to blow my nose when I hear him reporting.

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  23. Its called the best,most quallified person for the job.Sense we are no longer allowed to see "color" and or make it an issue,that all are equal then why does it really matter?? I dont care what color someone is that presents the news. If yiu are qualified,fine if not then adios.

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  24. When is Rich going to complain about the number of Jewish broadcasters? Talk about an over represented group.

    Only something like 1.3% of the US population is Jewish.

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