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NLMC: Networks’ Diversity Improving - Broadcasting & Cable

NLMC: Networks’ Diversity Improving

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The four major broadcast networks’ representation of Latinos on prime-time television has dramatically improved since minority groups first started pushing for change in 1999, the National Latino Media Council said Monday.

However, representation of Asian-Pacific Americans remains slim, while Native Americans aren’t represented at all, said the heads of the Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium and American Indians in Film and Television.

"All of the networks have finally come to the realization that it’s good business to incorporate people of color into their programs," NLMC president Alex Nogales said. "But one of our group continues to be without a voice at the networks and, without that voice, we cannot claim real progress," he continued, referring to the lack of Native Americans on prime-time TV.

AIFT chose not to give the networks a grade, saying that it was working on creating initiatives with each network and "remained guardedly optimistic that our proposed measures will address and rectify these long-term problems," representative Chief Apesanahkwat said.

All of the networks received scores of "A" from all three groups for their commitment to network diversity, with CBS recently creating The Diversity Institute and all four of the major networks in the past four years creating positions for vice presidents of diversity.

NBC and Fox, with grades of "B-minus," each fared best with the APALC, while ABC received a "C-minus" and CBS a "D-plus," up from last year’s "D-minus."

Fox received the highest grade from the NLMC with a "B-plus" and mentions of shows such as Luis
and The Ortegas
, the latter of which has been put off until midseason at least. ABC received a "B," with The George Lopez Show
and the retooled L.A. Dragnet
receiving high praise. NBC and CBS each got "C-plus" grades from the NLMC.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People plans to hold a press conference next week at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., releasing its own report on the broadcast networks’ commitment to diversity.

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