CNN Fights to Win Back Minority Viewers. What Else is New?

Posted: April 21, 2011 by jerkmag in WATCH -- TV
Tags: , , , , ,

Lack of minority representation in the media is no secret at this point. It has been a serious issue for decades, but CNN has somehow managed to be at the forefront of diverse programming over the years. That is, until now. Following their coverage of the 2008 presidential campaign, the network has seen its minority demographic, specifically African-American and Hispanic viewers, flock to competitor MSNBC seemingly in droves.

There is no doubt in my mind that this dramatic decrease in minority viewership has everything to do with former CNN anchors, Lou Dobbs and Glenn Beck, and current anchor Jack Cafferty whose racist, nationalist undertones continuously marginalize minority viewers. Now that two of these anchors are gone, the network is desperate to win back their minority demographic in time for next year’s election.

The NY Post reports that CNN is looking to add more of an African-American presence to its programming and has been in talks with a number of personalities ranging from Soledad O’Brien to Aisha Taylor, with comedian Chris Rock also thrown into the mix. While I can’t quite envision a CNN where Chris Rock hosts a nightly program, I can certainly see Soledad O’Brien doing well with her own program.

O’Brien has already garnered some success on CNN with her acclaimed In America documentary series and network executives feel she would benefit from receiving her own program. In fact, O’Brien has already filmed several pilots for a show which would replace John King USA at 7 p.m. on weekdays, a timeslot which has been the victim of a ratings drop lately. This is a smart move for CNN, one which should have been done years ago.

-Dee Lockett

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