The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) is urging the American Latino community and supporters to boycott CBS This Morning and the CBS Evening News over what the Hollywood advocacy group describes as “Latino exclusion” from the network’s flagship news programs.
The group’s call for a CBS boycott follows a top-to-bottom news division overhaul by Susan Zirinsky, who was named president of CBS News in January (she’s been with the company since 1972).
In a statement issued on May 29, the NHMC said Latino anchors and correspondents are absent following the latest revamp of the CBS News broadcasts.
“Latinos make up 18.9% of the U.S. population and are the largest and fastest growing minority in the nation,” NHMC President and CEO Alex Nogales said in a statement. “Yet, here we are again — absent on screen, but this time not on an entertainment program or in a film, but on a major news network.”
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Nogales called on CBS to “fully” embrace diversity.
“CBS needs to hold itself accountable by fully embracing inclusion and diversity in its hiring practices, and reflecting all the communities it claims to serve,” he said.
CBS did not immediately respond to Urban Hollywood 411′s request for comment about the NHMC’s complaints.
Earlier this month, the network announced plans to change the talent lineup on CBS This Morning and CBS Evening News amid ratings concerns and fallout from sexual harassment scandals.
Among the dizzying changes, Norah O’Donnell and John Dickerson departed the morning news broadcast. Gayle King is the lone anchor to remain on the show, and is now joined by co-hosts Anthony Mason and Tony Dokoupil.
O’Donnell moves to CBS Evening News as anchor and managing editor, replacing Jeff Glor. Dickerson is joining 60 Minutes and will also have a prominent role in the network’s election coverage. Glor moves to CBS This Morning: Saturday, and will be co-hosting with Dana Jacobson and Michelle Miller.
After the morning and evening news talent rosters were announced on May 6, the NHMC said Nogales spoke with Zirinsky to find out why CBS “failed to hire or promote at least one New York-based Latino reporter or anchor in either one of those shows.”
The group said Zirinsky stated that CBS News has several “great” Latino correspondents across the nation, but she would not provide a firm commitment to increasing the news division’s Latino ranks.
Zirinsky obviously believes she has found her winning team. Following this month’s announcement unveiling the morning and evening news talent changes, she praised King, Mason and Dokoupil for their
game-changing interviews, compassionate storytelling and writing.
“We’re incredibly excited to have this dynamic team together each morning,” she said in a story on cbsnews.com.
Zirinsky also singled out O’Donnell.
“Her outstanding reporting, incisive interviews and dedication to the truth will distinguish the CBS Evening News every night,” she said. “This is a start of a new era for CBS News.”