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Roland Martin: White Male Execs 'Not Enamored' w/ 'Strong, Confident Minorities' In TV News

Television
by Tambay A. Obenson
April 1, 2013 1:09 PM
15 Comments
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It really shouldn't be shocking to anyone who watches TV to know that there's a lack of diversity in TV (specifically in front of the camera) in general. The same lack of representation problems that plague the big screen, also plague the small screen, in this specific case, cable news shows.


I'd say that, in the last year, MSNBC has probably been the one key cable news channel with the strongest representation of blacks - especially black hosts with their very own shows, not just as news anchors or reporters. 

As we know, pundit Roland Martin was recently ousted at CNN, under new chief Jeff Zucker's reign. Martin never did get his own CNN show, even though, as he states, he came to the network with every intention of eventually being given his own show, after, of course, proving that he deserved to have his own show, which he seems to suggest that he did, adding that he hosted a number of "highly-rated specials for CNN," and thus didn't understand why the network's decision makers never "rewarded" him with his very own show.

And Martin's thoughts on why this never happened, speaking on HuffPostLive over the weekend:

"You have largely white male executives who are not necessarily enamored with the idea of having strong, confident minorities who say, 'I can do this'... We deliver, but we never get the big piece, the larger salary, to be able to get from here to there... If it's a ratings game, and we won, how is it I never got a show?"

That was just part of a much longer conversation that also included Rachel Sklar, Co-founder of Change The Ratio, Roy Sekoff, President of HuffPost Live, Giselle Fernandez, Emmy Award-Winning Journalist and Richard Prince, Columnist at 'Journal-isms,' Maynard Institute.

You can watch the 35-minute discussion below:


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15 Comments

  • Blackman | April 5, 2013 3:33 AMReply

    Roland Martin is Right! As long as you comatose effeminate Black men and butt ugly black women stay in your place, all is well. When a black man becomes Aggressive and Highly Opinionated he gets the shaft. We talking politics. Then again, looking down this thread, its a bunch of crabs in the barrel. Unconscious clowns that eat bad foods and watch too many damn movies.

    Entertainment huh??

  • Daryl | April 2, 2013 4:58 PMReply

    This arguement is outdated now with technology, cable news, and tv stations as you know it is going to be extinct. The internet is where the future lies, where you can do your own show and let the audience decide. tv stations are just going to be live events like sports or a big news story. Tv shows are going to be giving you the whole season at once, so you are not fighting for time slots anymore but letting people decide when they want to watch shows or if they like the show, meaning the networks don't have control but the audience does of what they want to watch. What we have to make sure is we are in a position with this changing of the guard we don't get left behind, that's why we need more conversations on how we are going to use technology to our advantage instead of useless conversations on an industry business model that is not going to be viable and is going to be extinct in the future. Shadow and Act is a good example of understanding this, giving voices to black people and sharing works of black people that are not covered by the other coroporate news outlets but are still able to reach audiences and be discorvered bypassing the old traditional business model that is no longer the only game in town. This is what we need more black people and businesses willing to step up and show love and meet a need that is not being met, forcing these white execs business models to change or they going to be left behind in the dust in the multicultural future because that's how business is going to be done.

  • Kiratiana | April 2, 2013 1:24 AMReply

    I think we have a case of the Shadow and Act audience not quite matching Roland's audience. Have you seen how many twitter followers he has? Have you seen his facebook page (and the engagement with those who follow him)? Yes he can be EXTRA but for a TON of black folks he says exactly what everyone is thinking. That's the appeal of him.

  • Carl | April 1, 2013 11:18 PMReply

    Negro looks like a black Hobbit.

  • Adam Scott Thompson | April 1, 2013 11:11 PMReply

    Roland Martin was extra from day one. I always cringed when he was introduced on a panel. If Al Sharpton can dial it down a notch, so can he. Good luck to him going forward.

  • jasmine | April 1, 2013 9:19 PMReply

    Know what he's saying in the picture? "Now hold up a minute...I do have a neck."

  • Bob | April 1, 2013 7:10 PMReply

    Roland is his audience, and that has proven good and bad for him.

  • George | April 1, 2013 5:38 PMReply

    Homophobe...

  • jeni | April 1, 2013 4:33 PMReply

    I think Martin is mistaken. Bernard Shaw was on the air for two decades at CNN. Perhaps the current management is "not enamored" with irritating, ascot-wearing, partisan egocentric blowhards with logorrhea. His being the token black guy during roundtables really irritated me--he never seemed to deal in facts, and just seemed to be there on the strength of his Chicago connections. There are way more talented, professional and knowledgeable black journalists ready to fill his spot.

  • JMac | April 1, 2013 6:09 PM

    But did Bernie ever have his own show? I don't think he did although he was a regular news anchor.

  • sergio | April 1, 2013 1:52 PMReply

    Martin made his name in Chicago when he was editor at the Chicago Defender for a (short) while and later got his own local morning talk show. But he had a reputation for saying and doing anything that would get attention. And it worked. When he left the city for that CNN gig no one was surprised. He hustled his ass off to be noticed by the media bigwigs on the Eest Coast

  • donnadara | April 1, 2013 1:38 PMReply

    The same way a blatant partisan like John King got his own show.

  • Sheldon Shaw | April 1, 2013 1:37 PMReply

    I have heard from inside people (all black) that Mr. Martin is quite the jerk and very hard to deal-with...they have said he is a diva, demanding, and never on time. So it is hard for me to listen to him complain.

  • Yes | April 1, 2013 1:45 PM

    True. He's very full of himself and has always carried himself that way, even before the fame.

  • kai | April 1, 2013 1:29 PMReply

    how do does a blatant partisan like martin get their own shown on cnn?

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