Hispanic watchdog unhappy with television networks


The National Latino Media Council has its report cards for the 2009-2010 season out, grading the big four television networks on terms of their portrayal and employment of Hispanics. It said it was a disappointing season, and handed out a C+, a pair of B-‘s and a B+.

“A year ago we lauded the networks for incremental progress in diversifying their workforces in front and behind the camera,” said former Congressman Esteban Torres, Board Chair of the National Latino Media Council. “This year the networks, while more representative of our multicultural nation than they were a decade ago, are in need of reaffirming their commitments to including Latinos in creative positions and procurement opportunities.”

Fox was the network with the lowest score. However, NLMC said part of the problem was lack of transparency in Fox’s employment picture, making it hard for the organization to get an accurate reading of Fox’s overall performance. It urged that this be rectified the next time around.

NLMC said ABC has been an exemplary network in the past, but slipped to B- this time around. NBC improved slightly to arrive at the same B- from the other direction, and NLMC expects this upward trajectory may continue if the merger with Comcast goes through.

CBS was the network earning a B+, but NLMC stressed that the network still has plenty of room to improve.

“This was a terrible year for Latinos at the networks,” said Alex Nogales, President and CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition, “African Americans and Asian Pacific Americans posted impressive gains in most categories, but when it came to Latinos, the networks failed us.” He added, “Don’t misunderstand, we don’t want what African Americans and Asian Pacific Americans received, the pie is much larger than that, we only want what we deserve as the largest minority consumer population in the nation.”