Snowden oversees the evolving association’s day-to-day operations, as well as its planning and strategic initiatives. He feels the media industry is making strides in diversity and inclusion, and is especially proud of Diversity Week. “While it has become an annual event, we cannot overlook the importance of Diversity Week for the industry and each individual. It is not just a symbol but practical real world workshops, panels and attention focused on the issue of inclusion, growth and opportunity,” he says. “No one else does it. Be proud but not content.”
A February 2018 UCLA study revealed that of the 45 new scripted shows approved for 2017-18 across broadcast, cable and digital platforms, only four were from creators of color, all of whom were black. What is your reaction to this report?
A serious missed opportunity for the industry. We have seen how shows with people of color do well in minority and majority audiences. The younger generation will demand more diversity; I hope the industry will respond.
What’s a recent example of a step forward for diversity in the industry?
While it has become an annual event, we cannot overlook the importance of Diversity Week for the industry and each individual. It is not just a symbol but practical real world workshops, panels and attention focused on the issue of inclusion, growth and opportunity. No one else does it. Be proud but not content.
In what areas should the industry step up its efforts with regard to diversity and inclusion?
More people of color (women and LGBTQ) not just in the C-Suite but also in the rank-in-file front line management. Important to have more visibility in leadership roles across the industry.
What’s your best advice to someone just entering the video content/distribution industry?
Learn the business and the history. Be flexible and a sponge. Seek out a senior mentor. Work hard. Take advantage of every opportunity offered—big and small.
What’s been the most dramatic change in your sector of the business today vs. three years ago?
Consolidation of the MSO and Programmer companies. In addition, the growth and ubiquity of broadband has dramatically changed how we consumer entertainment.
If there were a reality show based on your office, what would it be called?
“The Real ‘Political’ World: DC Edition”