Cynthia Hudson

“I have always tried to create opportunities for people of different ethnicities, races, sexual orientation, lifestyle, etc to have a place within my teams,” says Hudson. She’s actively been working to bring Latino voices to the forefront, leading the expansion of CNN en Español’s digital transformation all while managing coverage of the COVID crisis and elections in the US and Latin America. Thanks to Hudson, CNN en Español’s growth in digital and linear saw its highest second quarter audience levels in network history.

The conversation about racial injustice in 2020 has been… LONG OVERDUE. We need to eliminate the blinders on a process that is necessary for us to each [address] racial justice in America. 

In what ways can companies best show a sincere commitment to diversity and inclusion?
The key to commitment to diversity and inclusion is hiring people of diverse backgrounds at all levels of a company and allowing their life experiences, community and historic influences to permeate and enrich the collective thought and understanding of the teams. This is critical to authenticity and shows in the commitment. It is not simply about a quota but a true commitment to embracing all people into the fabric of a company.

What initiatives in our industry best embrace diversity?
I think all US media companies are looking for ways to connect and engage with audiences and the plurality of our nation is evidence of the need to approach content, story telling, and talent diversity which has grown dramatically in the last few years and this has to continue. However, the fact that many companies have expanded their D&I divisions is a great sign that this is being taken seriously.

What are some of the tough conversations this industry needs to have?
Some of the tough conversations that need to be addressed are the roles of women, which unbelievably continue to be a point of inequality in most companies, as well as the roles of minorities, ethnic diversity and racial, life-style and even political diversity.

How have you been a champion of diversity & inclusion in your professional life?
I have always tried to create opportunities for people of different ethnicities, races, sexual orientation, life-style, etc to have a place within my teams. As a content creator and business manager it is essential to be open-minded and to build eclectic teams to help inform content and represent audience segments.

Which current shows (on linear and streaming) best embrace diversity?
We are finally seeing shows that represent different groups authentically and not just as the token. The reboot of “One Day at a Time” is true to Cuban and Caribbean/Latino culture, while “Blackish” represents the realities of African American culture in mainstream America. We are finally seeing that key news anchors and reporters represent a broad swath of America’s diversity.