On the Circuit with CableWorld editor Seth Arenstein NEW YORK — NEW YORK — We’re observing Diversity Week here in NY, and this morning’s breakfast panel from CTAM NY on broadband video features a cadre of middle-aged men. Fortunately not all of them are white.

Former Nickelodeon honcho Herb Scannell, now heading online network Next New Networks, is Puerto Rican. Erstwhile cabler David Eun of Google is Asian-American.

Everyone else on a strong panel, with excellent moderation by Will Richmond of Broadband Directions, is white and male. [For a summary of the panel see blog entry, "Cable’s Not Dead Yet."]

This lack of diversity on Diversity Week caused a fair amount of snickering among portions of the throng attending the Blue Ribbon breakfast at stately Gotham Hall on 36th Street. Among other topics bandied about (in no particular order): Murdoch questioning whether Wall St Journal Online should be free, following The NY Times’ announcement; the brief nudity and sexual situations in Spring Awakening, the Broadway show that Cable Positive supporters attended Tues night; oy, those Mets; and the shock of 3 firefighters jumping into the pool Tues that Outdoor Channel set up for its DockDogs event in Bryant Park [see previous blog entry "Dog Day Afternoon"].  

Back to diversity: A bit of digging reveals that CTAM NY’s planning committee tried to find women to place on the panel. Several women were approached, but scheduling conflicts prevented a few high-ranking female executives from appearing on the panel. We couldn’t determine if any African-Americans, male or female, were solicited. We’ll assume they were.  

Of course you could chalk up the lack of diversity on the panel to the lack of diversity in the upper ranks of the cable industry. Or perhaps CTAM NY, which we know tried, didn’t do so hard enough. It’s a lot to swallow that a qualified woman or an African-American couldn’t be found for this panel.

Or you could return to the old argument—made years ago by Paul Maxwell and others—that companies should refrain from scheduling competing events during Diversity Week. Good point, but less practical today as some cable players are part of heavily diversified companies. It’s one thing to ask cable-centric companies to cool it during Diversity Week, but it’s just not going to be as effective to urge the creative and financial communities to do so. As Mariane Pearl said Tuesday at NAMIC, “diversity isn’t easy.” • More commentary from Seth Arenstein >

The Daily


FCC Extends Deadlines for TEGNA Transfer

The FCC Media Bureau is extending the petition to deny deadline for the transfer of TEGNA ’s licenses to an indirect subsidiary of Standard General in

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


Jun 3
The Diversity List – 2022 First Deadline: June 3 ; Final Deadline: June 10
Aug 12
Most Powerful Women – 2022Nominations Due: August 12
Full Calendar


Seeking an INDUSTRY JOB?

Hiring? In conjunction with our sister brand, Cynopsis, we are offering hiring managers a deep pool of media-savvy, skilled candidates at a range of experience levels and sectors, The result will be an even more robust industry job board, to help both employers and job seekers.

Contact John@cynopsis.com for more information.