The cable industry’s diversity efforts continue to stagnate despite some notable strides and much well-intentioned hand wringing, said panelists Mon at the opening general session of NAMIC’s annual conference in NYC. "This industry deserves only a `B’ for its diversity efforts," said NAMIC chmn Manish Jha, who also chairs Mobile ESPN. "There’s far too much wheel spinning and not enough momentum." Rainbow Media Holdings pres/CEO and honorary NAMIC co-chmn Josh Sapan expressed frustration that some of Rainbow’s past efforts to increase racial diversity "just didn’t work" despite much success attracting women and gay/lesbian workers. He called for "more vigilance" going forward. Insight pres/COO Dinni Jain said cable’s growth in recent years has made it particularly hard to stay focused on diversity, noting that "one of the big obstacles we have is [financial] success" that can push diversity efforts to the back burner. "Quite frankly, we’re not very good at this," he said. In fact, NAMIC’s just-released diversity study found a significant decline in the number of CEOs signing off on exec compensation tied to diversity goals. Luke Visconti-partner and co-founder of DiversityInc, which compiled stats for NAMIC’s study-said CEOs need to get tough. "You set goals, and you accomplish them-and you fire people who don’t achieve those goals," he said to applause. "You bet it’s a numbers game. You go out, and you accomplish your numbers." Much of the panel focused on the business case for diversity, with wide agreement that changing demographics make diverse hiring a competitive necessity. "We have to stay passionate about this," said Court TV chmn Henry Schleiff. Johnathan Rodgers, pres/CEO of TV One, said commitments also must go beyond bottom-line justifications. "Sometimes you just have to do something because it’s the right thing to do," he said.

The Daily

Subscribe

Sinclair Signs Sports Betting Deal With Bally’s

Sinclair and Bally’s have entered into a long-term strategic partnership that will combine the latter’s sports betting technology with Sinclair’s broadcast nets, RSNs, streamer STIRR and more. Bally’s

Read the Full Issue
The Skinny is delivered on Tuesday and focuses on the cable profession. You'll stay in the know on the headlines, topics and special issues you value most. Sign Up