The National Association of Hispanic Journalists has sent a letter to Los Angeles NBC O&O KNBC and its corporate parent Comcast expressing concern over an alarming number of recent demotions among the station’s Hispanic on-air talent.
According to data compiled by a KNBC staffer and shared with NAHJ, the station has taken action against the majority of its Hispanic on-air staff this year. Of the nine Hispanic anchors, reporters, and weathercasters at KNBC, since January 10th, five have either been demoted or terminated. And as of last week, none of the station’s on-air hires in 2011 are of Hispanic heritage.
KNBC, which just announced the promotion of Robert Kovacik and hiring of Stephanie Elam to anchor weekends, currently has no Hispanic anchors on its prime p.m. newscasts while 30% of reporters appearing during these programs are Hispanic. This seeming lack of Latino representation is especially significant in the Los Angeles market, where nearly half of viewers are Hispanic.
“We’re very concerned about what’s being reported,” NAHJ president Michele Salcedo tells TVSpy. “It’s very important for a newsroom to reflect the community in which it operates.”