|Let’s face it, times have changed. In the 38 years since the founding of the Walter Kaitz Foundation, the collective media and telecommunications industries are nearly unrecognizable as the upstart, scrappy businesses they once were.
Just think of where we were nearly four decades ago as a fledging collective trying to command the nation’s attention. Yet, as we built this industry, we also took care to bake into it a commitment to developing the people who would one day lead global and innovative companies and brands.
Certainly, we know that our industry’s pioneers saw that increased viewing options and innovative programming would be game-changing but developing programming catering to every taste would set us apart from the broadcast industry. Those cable pioneers were also prescient enough to divine a future where leadership in the industry would grow and develop to affect the types of changes that would inevitably result in a keen focus on diversity, equity and inclusion.
|35th Anniversary Dinner Celebrates “Diversity Through the Decades”|
|Josh Sapan and Dave Watson, Dinner Co-Chairs
Each fall, The Walter Kaitz Foundation’s Annual Fundraising Dinner brings together leaders from across the media and telecommunications industries to build significant support for the advancement of diversity and inclusion within our industry. This year’s milestone 35th Anniversary Kaitz Dinner will take place on Wednesday, October 17, at New York’s Marriott Marquis, under the theme “Diversity Through the Decades.”
The Walter Kaitz Foundation was founded in 1981 with the first fundraising dinner held in 1984 and featured some of the industry’s most senior executives spearheading the Foundation’s efforts. This year’s 35th Anniversary Dinner is being spearheaded by a distinguished committee of industry visionaries co-chaired by Josh Sapan, President & CEO, AMC Networks and Dave Watson, President & CEO, Comcast Cable and Senior EVP, Comcast Corporation. The dinner committee includes Dexter Goei, CEO, Altice N.V.and Chairman & CEO, Altice USA; David Nevins, President & CEO, Showtime Networks Inc.; Michael K. Powell, President & CEO, NCTA – The Internet & Television Association and Tom Rutledge, Chairman & CEO, Charter Communications. Just as industry leaders before them, these leading executives continue to support Walter Kaitz’s vision that all things are possible if we work hard and have an equal chance and opportunity to achieve success.
|Diversity Week 2018 Headliners and Award Winners Named|
|Don Lemon, correspondent and anchor of “CNN Tonight with Don Lemon,” will be the opening keynote speaker for the 32nd Annual NAMIC Conference, October 16-17, 2018 at the New York Marriott Marquis. The respected news professional will set the tone for the conference under the theme, “Empower Leaders, Create Superheroes”, by sharing his inspiring journey and offering thought-provoking insights into his illustrious career.”The ongoing conversation around diversity and inclusion is more important than ever and I am looking forward to the opportunity of being part of an event that has helped lead the charge in our industry for over 30 years,” Lemon offered.Additional conference highlights include the L. Patrick Mellon Mentorship Program Luncheon, the Annual Awards Luncheon, honoring the recipient of the Mickey Leland Humanitarian Achievement Award, celebrating the 2018 class of Next Generation Leaders and Luminaries, and the Excellence in Multicultural Marketing Awards (EMMA). The conference will continue its tradition of powerful, provocative educational sessions and intentional networking events.|
|Q & A with Tiffany Smith-Anoa’i|
|We recently spoke to Tiffany Smith-Anoa’i, EVP, Entertainment Diversity, Inclusion and Communications at CBS and posed a few questions.
The list of diversity initiatives you’ve implemented within the Entertainment Division of CBS is varied and multi-targeted. How have the external partnerships you’ve forged yielded changes within CBS?
Smith-Anoa’i: Diversity and Inclusion are ingrained in every department within CBS Entertainment – from casting, to production to development to marketing, to publicity and the Current Department. I’m very excited by the synergies that have been developed and how we’re all collectively working towards a common goal.
CBS On Tour, has proved to be one of our most successful initiatives. We take CBS executives to colleges and universities across the country, first outlining what a career in entertainment entails, and then soliciting interns to work at CBS. What we want to offer is a window that allows the interns to see what they want to do, as well as what they don’t want to do. Our interns work in executive suites and learn the business from the inside out. Since implementing CBS On Tour five years ago we’ve seen a 40% increase in applicants of color, and of that number 23% have secured entry-level positions with us. It is entirely conceivable that one, or more, of our interns could be the next CBS executive, and I’m incredibly proud of each of them. What we are doing is offering these young people three things – access, exposure, and opportunities. My belief is that the internship should benefit the intern even more than the company.
|Univision’s “Storytelling Unbound”|
|At the end of 2017, Univision Communications, Inc. announced the results of a consumer attitude survey it conducted as part of its strategic initiative to close the diversity gap in entertainment. The “Storytelling Unbound” research project was national in scope and surveyed approximately 2,000 film and TV consumers, consisting largely of adults 18-49 years of age that included participants of Hispanic, African-American and Asian backgrounds.The study was part of Univision’s “Project Unbound” whose underlying mission was to close the diversity gap in entertainment by raising awareness around existing disparities while providing solutions. The initiative also focused on creating and celebrating content, representative of today’s America while at the same time developing and supporting emerging storytellers.|
|Exploring Emmy’s Uphill Road to Inclusion
The importance of inclusion in the industry has dominated headlines over the past year. However, it has still not translated to Academy voters: The 70th annual Emmy award nominees are overwhelming white and male.
|Shonda Rimes Unveils Slate of Eight Netflix Series
The prolific producer will also reunite with ‘Grey’s Anatomy’s’ Debbie Allen with a take on her holiday ballet.
|Buccieri Named President of A+E Networks
Paul Buccieri has been named president of A+E Networks Group, a joint venture of The Walt Disney Co. and Hearst.
|Tonia O’Conner exits Univision
Tonia O’Connor has resigned her post as chief revenue officer for Univision, marking the latest in a string of senior executive departures at the Spanish-language giant.
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