NAACP blasts CNN: No black anchors in prime time

Posted July 07, 2011, at 7:54 p.m.

LOS ANGELES — CNN’s newly announced prime-time news lineup has come under fire by the NAACP, which claims the slate continues a multi-network trend that excludes blacks from prime-time slots as anchors and hosts.

“As CNN announced their new schedule, a glaring omission was present — no African Americans were hosts or anchors in their prime time lineup,” NAACP President and Chief Executive Benjamin Todd Jealous said in a statement. “The NAACP is deeply concerned with the lack of African American journalists in prime time, both on cable and national network news shows.”

Shifts in CNN’s schedule included adding CNBC personality Erin Burnett. The network has declined comment on the NAACP criticism. Exclusion of blacks is significant, Jealous said, because the prime-time slots are the most influential in daily news. Although CNN, Bloomberg News, CNBC, Fox News and MSNBC have shows scheduled every hour to discuss financial and world news, and occasionally have black commentators, not one show is headlined or anchored by an African American.

Jealous added, “We have come to expect this from the likes of Fox News, but not other networks.”

The NAACP Hollywood Bureau will be setting up meetings with the heads of news divisions to discuss the issue, he said.

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