Men Continue to Run Newsrooms
12:30 pm, July 3rd | by Colette McIntyre
And I’m not talking about Aaron Sorkin’s preachy, myopic HBO love letter to rich white men (although that is run by dudes as well) (and one poorly-written female) (what’s up with that, Sorkin?): according to a newsroom survey conducted by the Radio Television and Digital News Association, while women have made modest gains in TV, radio, and daily newspapers, men continue to occupy a majority of the industry’s top positions.
In 2012, 40 percent of local television station employees were women, yet they made up less than 20 percent of the general managers. Still, this meager representation is up from 15.8 percent in 2011 and a staggering 12.1 percent in 2004. In radio, women filled just 19.3 percent of management positions.
The story isn’t much better at daily newspapers; in fact, the percentage of women occupying leadership positions has remained stagnant for the past twenty years or so. In 1998, 33.8 percent of newspaper managers were women; in 2012, that number grew to a whopping 34.6 percent, reports the American Society of News Editors. Although the ASNE’s current census doesn’t document the percentage of female executive editors, PEW Research believes the industry is far from gender parity:
…a look at the 10 largest newspapers (based on weekday print and digital circulation) suggests the numbers would not be large. Among these newspapers, only The New York Times has a female executive editor: Jill Abramson, who in 2011 became the first woman to head The Times since its founding in 1851.
But soon, Jill Abramson won’t be the only woman making history and leading an industry giant: Deborah Turness will become the first woman to head a network news division when she takes over as president of NBC News in August. Of course, this is the second time that Turness made this kind of history — in 2004, she did the same in England when she became president of ITV News, a BBC rival.