Cable World Magazine has put out a list of the 50 most influential minorities in cable. Among the 50, HLN’s Executive Vice President and General Manager Rolando Santos came in at #16, Fox Cable Networks’ Executive Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs, Rita Tuzon was #35, Fox Networks Group’s Senior Vice President, Business Development, Mitchell Chun was #37, and Fox Cable Networks’ Senior Vice Presidents, Business and Legal Affairs, Claudia Teran and Jennifer Chun tied at #40.
As the cable industry convenes in New York for Diversity Week, the consensus among executives is that women and ethnic minorities are still fighting for adequate opportunities. Yet cable is hiring more people with backgrounds in ethnic marketing and business, diversity on camera and behind the camera is improving, albeit slowly, and cable is offering more ethnic channels than it did last year. We also noticed a marked increase in the number of nominees for our 50 Most Influential Minorities list, including more at the senior vice president level and above. In addition, our list this year includes three people working at cable operators among the top 10; we had none last year. Although that’s anecdotal evidence of improvement, it’s a good sign.
But we also bring bad tidings: Cable lost several top minority executives. Some quit, others were victims of bad times or consolidation. Still others left the cable business. Programming executives MIA from last year’s list include MTVN’s Herb Scannell, Si TV’s Jeff Valdez, La Familia’s Clark Ortiz, Court TV’s Jennifer Randolph, Showtime’s Geof Rochester, AZN’s Peilin Chou, CNN’s Kim Bondy, ESPN’s Kerry Chandler, TBS’ Christy Kwon Kreisberg and The Weather Channel’s Susan Scott and Vicki Hamilton.