A prominent watchdog and a USA Today columnist agree that ABC has a prime opportunity not only to increase the ethnic diversity seen on Sunday morning talkfests, but to break the color barrier in the moderator’s chair. The opening is due to Diane Sawyer’s move to nightly World News and the move of George Stephanopoulos to Good Morning America.
USA Today columnist DeWayne Wickham reported on the efforts of Stephanie Jones to increase diversity on the Sunday morning shows in general, which help set the national conversation. Jones is head of the National Urban League Policy Institute, which has produced studies documenting the paucity of minority guests on the programs. She says they are getting better but still have a lot of work to do. Another study is said to be due out next year.
Wickham went Jones one better, suggesting that veteran journalist Gwen Ifill be given a shot at the job. Ifill is currently with PBS, and has had stops at NBC, the Washington Post and the New York Times, among other places.
Michel Martin of NPR, another veteran with a long multimedia resume, was another Wickham suggestion.
Meanwhile, Politico is reporting that two current ABC News employees, Jake Tapper and Terry Moran, will get a crack at guest hosting the program.
Huffington Post notes that Ifill is getting a lot of mention, and RBR-TVBR recently heard her tell Jon Stewart on the Daily Show that she is aware her name is coming up (and added that she already has a very good job). Ted Koppel is also getting mentions.
According to New York Post columnist Cindy Adams, quoted by HP, “Conventional wisdom is Ted’s too old, Jake’s too green so Ifill, who brings her own new audience, is the probable maybe.”