Only 65 of 548 news execs at stations owned by major television groups were members of a minority group, or 11.7%. And a parallel census of Big Four network O&Os found a better overall percentage, but still a lower percentage than during the prior year.
The television companies studied in the first group included ABC, CBS, FOX, Hearst Argyle, Media General, NBC and Tribune.
The O&Os news execs included 16.6% people of color, a statistic that fell to 15.8% in 2009.
The executive positions monitored, each with editorial responsibilities, included executive producers, managing editors, assistant news directors, news directors and general managers.
“These results should be a wake-up call to media owners who say they are serious about diversity in management,” said NABJ President Barbara Ciara. “At the end of the day, we find the number of African Americans who actually have the ability to hire or influence content falls woefully short of the desired goals.”
RBR/TVBR observation: This study corroborates the latest RTNDA look at the same issue. It’s been a tough time for journalists in general, and recent gains made by minorities in various media newsrooms appear to have been casualties of the recession.