Apparently CNN’s revamped primetime lineup does not sit well with the NAACP.
The civil rights organization today expressed its “profound disappointment” that CNN continued a “multi-network” trend in excluding African American news anchor and hosts from primetime news lineups after the network reconfigured its schedule following yesterday’s cancellation of Eliot Spitzer’s news talk show In the Arena.
CNN will move its 10 p.m. Anderson Cooper 360 show to In the Arena’s former 8 p.m. timeslot beginning Aug. 8, and will rebroadcast Cooper 360 at its former 10 p.m. timeslot. The network also said it will debut its new Erin Burnett program at 7 p.m. (with a re-air at 11 p.m.) when it premieres in late September.
None of the shows in the network’s revamped primetime lineup features an African-American anchor, which NAACP president and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous deemed a “glaring omission.” In a press release the organization pointed out that currently no African American hosts or anchors reside on any national cable or broadcast news show from the hours of 5PM-11PM – “the most influential hours in daily news,” according to the organization.
CNN declined to comment on the issue.
In a statement, Jealous said the organization is “deeply concerned with the lack of African American journalists in prime time news, both on cable and national network news shows. In the spirit of award-winning African American journalists, from W.E.B. Dubois to Ed Bradley, the NAACP feels it is critical to bring this disparity, and the broader trend reflected in the overall lack of people of color as prime time news anchors, to the attention of the top officials at all of the major broadcast and cable news stations.”