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News & Press: NABJ News

NABJ is disappointed that Comcast/NBC has decided to cancel “Art Fennell Reports"

Wednesday, February 19, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Veronique Dodson
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 19, 2014) — The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) is disappointed that Comcast/NBC has decided to cancel "Art Fennell Reports,” a program that reported the news in the Philadelphia region for the past seven years.

The Comcast Sportsnet Philadelphia website describes the show as "a candid and interactive look at the news and events that have people talking.... (Art) Fennell and his team of reporters and correspondents explore the big stories that shape viewers' worlds as well as the small stories with a big impact on life.”

NABJ is concerned that Comcast, in its drive to buy NBC, promised a commitment to maintaining and creating programming for diverse communities.

Published reports say his show is being replaced with sports programming.

NABJ questions this decision that leaves a void and wonders what the company is doing to fill it.

Fennell is a past president of both NABJ and the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists.

Comcast Chief Diversity Officer Craig Robinson told NABJ "At the broad view, the Comcast Network is being closed down and will now be used as a second sports network for Comcast Sportsnet Philadelphia. Leadership at Comcast has been in discussion with Art for over a year about the upcoming change as he notes in his interview.  While I appreciate that there are those who will miss the show, the parting was respectful and amicable.  The show’s cancellation is in no way an indication that Comcast is going back on its promise to add more programming for people of color in general.”

Given Comcast’s planned acquisition of Time Warner Cable, it is hopeful that Comcast will find new ways to enlighten, engage, and inform consumers locally, regionally, and nationally through news and public affairs programming that appropriately reflects the diversity in their new markets.

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An advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest organization for journalists of color in the nation, and provides career development as well as educational and other support to its members worldwide. For more information, please visit www.nabj.org.



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