"THE DISAPPEARING ANCHOR"
An African American Perspective

INTRODUCTION HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE THE ISSUES WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS AFRICAN AMERICAN NETWORK ANCHORS BIBLIOGRAPHY ABOUT THE AUTHOR


HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE



The African American male's slow rise into the network television ranks began in 1962. That's when White Plain, Virignia born Malvin Goode Senior broke the color barrier in network television.


But it wasn't until 1978 that Max Robinson was elevated from the ranks of Chicago television to share in the nightly anchor duties for ABC, thus becoming the first African American network anchorman. Troubled by what many observers say was a stormy relationship with the network, Robinson quit in 1983, and five years later died of AIDS. There is little written about Robinson in the broadcast journals. Nevetheless, Robinson's outspoken feelings cracked open the door for others to follow.


Waiting in the wings to take their rightful places on the network anchor desks are two men who still maintain their place among the notables. CBS newsman Ed Bradley joined CBS radio in 1967 and moved over to the television network in 1971 where he was assigned to the Paris bureau. He eventually moved to the anchor desk for the Sunday evening news and then on to correspondent for 60-Minutes, a position he holds today.


While Bradley held down the fort at CBS, a collegue was making strides at the world's newest network CNN. Bernard Shaw joined the Cable News Network in 1980 and earned respect covering politics and mans the anchor desk in Washington D.C. Shaw recently however announced that he would be retiring, leaving a void in prime time exposure for African American anchormen. Others African American anchormen are making their presence know on network television these days. They are the new breed of journalists who have come into the ranks after the federal government essentially removed affirmative action. They are Len Cannon of NBC, Ed Gordon andTavis Smiley of Black Entertainment Television.



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