Saturday, April 19, 2008

Discrimination At Gannett Historically

As might be expected, 91 percent of the general managers at Gannett-owned television stations during the early 1990s were male and 82 percent were white. At Gannett-owned radio stations during the early 1990s, 80 percent of the general managers were white and 70 percent were male. Of the local publishers who supervise the operations of Gannett’s 81 daily newspapers in the early 1990s, only five were African-American, only two were Latino-American and only two were Asian-American. In 1978, according to The Media Monopoly, an African-American media group had protested that Gannett’s history of hiring women and minorities was “worse than the industry average” and that in Rochester, New York the Gannett media conglomerate’s newspapers “had refused to print Urban League reports of supermarket price discrimination” in African-American neighborhoods “for fear of offending advertisers.”

Twenty-two percent of Gannett’s local newspaper publishers were women in the early 1990s (as was the then-publisher of USA Today). But, according to the book Press Concentration and Monopoly by Robert Picard, “the mean circulation of the Gannett dailies headed by women” in the early 1990s was “25,000, compared to 56,000 for Gannett papers headed by men.” In other words, in the early 1990s Gannett apparently tracked its female “local publishers” into the management of its least influential local newspapers. In his Confessions Of An S.O.B., former Gannett Chairman of the Board Neuharth did not indicate what percentage of Gannett’s managers were gay men, lesbians, people with disabilities or people who were under 30 years of age.

(Downtown 5/8/91)

Next: Corporate Influence On Public Broadcasting Historically—Part 1