Monday, December 21, 2009

Hotline Notes Absence of Women on Sunday Shows

At a time when many in the media industry are coping with the declining influence of "appointment television," Sunday mornings continue to occupy a unique place in the American political landscape. Meet the Press (NBC), This Week (ABC), Face the Nation (CBS), Fox News Sunday (Fox) and State of the Union (CNN) draw committed audiences eager to hear television guests make news.

I love Sunday mornings as much as anyone, but lately I've been troubled by the limited number of women making the rounds at these roundtables. The late Tim Russert made a concerted effort to bring more women into the conversation at his well-respected table. Russert's legacy has been seen in NBC's partnership with The Center for American Progress in its release of The Shriver Report, and a Meet the Press panel discussion on the report's finding.s. Still, there is much progress to be made...

Last week, National Journal's The Hotline noted that "there does seem to be something missing from the Sunday gabfests: women and minorities. Given the abundance of talent out there, can it really stay that way? Veteran journos like Gwen Ifill and Candy Crowley, for example, are two of the smartest and most experienced (and most under-exposed) voices in town."

One look at (part of the Women's Media Center) and you know that there is no shortage of talented women who could be adding to the Sunday dialogue.

In case you're curious, yesterday's Sunday shows scheduled appearances for 20 men and only 7 women - that's almost three times as many men.

The break down by show and network:

NBC's Meet the Press hosted 5 men and 1 woman
ABC's This Week hosted 5 men and 2 women
CBS's Face the Nation hosted 1 man and 2 women
Fox New's Fox News Sunday hosted 4 men and 1 woman
CNN's State of the Union hosted 5 men and 1 woman