By Ashlee Green, NABJ Program Assistant
NBC Universal's commitment to
diversity penetrates its news division and the company's local station
operations from hiring practices to news programming as it strives to
reflect the demographics of those it serves.
NBC Universal’s commitment to diversity penetrates each dimension of the company’s operations, from hiring practices to programming to infrastructure, as it strives to reflect the demographics of those it serves.
For its efforts, NBC Universal has earned the 2010 NABJ Best Practices Award, given annually to a news organization for extraordinary coverage of issues of great importance to the black community and or for efforts in increasing diversity among newsroom staff and management.
"NBC News and its owned-and-operated stations nationwide have done tremendous work promoting diversity in its management positions as well as in its coverage,” NABJ President Kathy Y. Times said. "NABJ has championed such issues in news for 35 years.”
In 2000, NBC Universal established a diversity council made up of leaders from divisions and departments across the company. The council has made strides in growing diversity and producing programs that support individuals of various backgrounds to pursue careers in media.
The network has also been committed to improving diversity on all levels with its news associate program (entry-level employees), news leadership development program (mid-career employees) and customized executive development program (leadership positions).
According to NABJ’s annual survey of broadcast news management, NBC Universal contains the most African-American vice presidents, general managers, news directors, senior and executive producers in its network news division and in its owned-and-operated stations than any broadcast or cable network in the country, NABJ Vice President-Broadcast Bob Butler said.
"News organizations are encouraged to reflect the communities they serve,” Butler said. "The management teams at NBC Universal’s stations are the closest at meeting that standard among the major televisions groups. NBC Universal has made a commitment to diversity that is reflected in all of its business units.”
In April 2007, NBC Universal President and CEO Jeff Zucker publicly identified diversity not only fair but also good for business. A month later, Zucker named NABJ stalwart Paula Madison as the company’s executive vice president of diversity and chief diversity officer – the first time in its history that a senior executive was charged with diversity as his or her sole responsibility.
"Jeff Zucker’s commitment is apparent in NBC’s network news and local new operations and is a model many media companies should explore,” Times said.