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INNCD Finds more male fill-in anchors Nationwide

DMA 3: Chicago





DMA 25: Indianapolis




DMA 32: Cincinnati




DMA 48: Louisville




DMA 56: Dayton




DMA 88: South Bend




DMA 101: Evansville





DMA 106: Fort Wayne



DMA 150: Terre Haute


DMA 191: Lafayette


Ava Nieves/INNCD Investigates

The nation's largest media giants said the problem of two men anchoring newscasts was simply an Indiana problem, and they would fix it.

However, a nationwide INNCD investigation shows newsrooms beyond the borders of Indiana, Florida, and Texas. The investigation will prompt television stations to announce changes in gender diversity and diversity in general to allow women to fill in for female co-anchors when they have the day off and vice versa for males; and in a handful of stations, allow more women to anchor those stations.

Over the past three months, INNCD News Investigates inspected a total of 372 television stations that had local news in 88 markets . The nationwide Women anchoring and Reporting test found almost 60 percent of stations we investigated actually have more women anchoring while nearly 56 percent of stations reporters and fill-in anchors are men. INNCD actually found 100 stations actually have more women BOTH anchoring and reporting. We also found 57 television newsrooms that have two women anchoring newscasts, while three stations have two men anchoring a newscast

INNCD News Investigates found 57 female-female anchor pairs, 150 women delivering newscasts solo, and most rarely—three stations (WJRT in Flint, MI; KHOU Houston, TX; WEEK in Peoria, IL) have two men anchoring a newscast, and according to Paul Fahri, who wrote the “Men, Signing Off” article “It's not supposed to work like this It's very upsetting and we're going to be very careful of what stations we watch nowadays... Television news viewers have an expectation of balance and television newsrooms cannot allow sex discrimination of women in those markets to happen.”

INNCD News Investigates found out that WOIO-TV in Cleveland was they were the first in America to have two women delivering a newscast. Today WEWS-TV has two women anchoring their midday news in that market, as well as 56 others.

However, WJRT-TV, the ABC O&O in Flint proved to be one of the worst stations when it comes to women anchoring news. Their weekend morning newscast is anchored by two men. WJRT proved to be the worst ABC affiliate, joining CBS affiliate KHOU in Houston, WEEK in Peoria, and WXIN in Indianapolis.

Providence, RI; Greensboro, NC; Cleveland OH; Flint, MI; New Orleans, LA; Salt Lake City, UT; and Bakersfield, CA were proven to be the worst markets when it comes to women anchoring and reporting. INNCD found a total of 70 stations that are allowing men to fill in for women when they have the day off in addition to reporting duties. Examples include WWL-TV and WGNO-TV in New Orleans and KTVX in Salt Lake City.

Des Moines, IA; San Diego, CA; Birmingham, AL; Green Bay, WI; and Rockford, IL proved to be the best markets when it comes to breaking the gender barrier. Those markets have stations that either have two women anchoring on select newscasts or have a woman anchoring solo.

KSDM-TV in Des Moines (a Fox affiliate) proved to have an all-female anchor team (one women delivers news) while KOVR Sacramento and WRAL Raleigh (which are both CBS affiliates) proved to be the best stations because they have back-up anchors on all their newscasts, mostly two woman/one man anchor team on most of their newscasts

At KOVR and WRAL, three anchors deliver newscasts. No station in Indiana is currently doing this and based on what the Indiana State News Center and Discussion found, that may soon happen.

The Indiana State News Center and Discussion began its investigation on December 11, 2006, following up on stories from March 2005 to July 2006 as follows:

  1. WPTA and WISE Fort Wayne Newsroom mergers in March 2005, causing 57 employees to be laid off from WISE-TV.

  2. Sara Snow's departure from WXIN-TV Indianapolis on September 17, 2005. INNCD reported that Sara Snow and Jake Miller (one of the WISE anchors who were laid off) actually co-anchored their newscasts.

  3. WTWO Terre Haute's pre-emption of “The Book of Daniel” and hired a male anchor named Patrick Fazio.

  4. The “Washington Post” July 2006 article “Men, Signing Off.”

News directors in Washington, DC actually admit its actually more difficult finding a strong male anchor than a strong female. In the Washington Post article, Ball State University Professor Bob Papper theorizes that women have a natural advantage over men on TV.

During the initial investigation, INNCD Investigates found 66 stations passed (mostly women) INNCD's Anchor Test, while 22 stations we investigated failed (more men) BOTH Reporter and Fill-In Anchor Test. In February, Indiana State Representative Tim Harris, State Senator Luke Kenley, Governor Mitch Daniels, and Lt. Governor Rebbecca Skillman told The Indiana State News Center and Discussion they are looking into a possible new law that force news directors to adhere to gender equality in all newscasts and/or creating relief for affected viewers on newscasts where two women or two men are anchoring.

LIN TV Corporation (which owns WISH/WNDY in Indianapolis, WDTN in Dayton, WANE-TV in Fort Wayne, WTHI in Terre Haute, and WLFI in Lafayette), Nexstar (which owns WFFT in Fort Wayne, WTVW in Evansville, and WTWO/WFXW in Terre Haute), AH Belo (which owns WHAS in Louisville and four Texas stations, and Tribune Broadcasting of Chicago (which owns WXIN/WTTV in Indianapolis and the company's flagship station WGN) issued apologies assuring the gender equality problem would be fixed. They say the problem was the result of stations failing to adhere to their strict values designed to adapt to gender diversity. At that point, those companies declined to issue statements and/or INNCD's request for an on-camera/telephone interview, but INNCD obtained corporate values from LIN TV and Belo and figured the problem would be fixed.

Industry watchdogs are now saying that did not happen, and believe that the stations are violating Equal Opportunity laws.

A spokesperson for the Indiana Broadcasters Association said the agency is considering launching its own investigation following INNCD's reports. This investigation will determine whether media giants will face fines for not following Equal Opportunity Laws, resulting from reports from INNCD News.

WITI's biography pages have video biographies on its web site

KOVR in Sacaremeto contains 10 women (the most INNCD has found) They have a three anchor team. Fellow CBS affiliate WRAL in Raleigh has a two-woman/one man anchor team on all their newscasts

KOVR/KMAX Sacaremento are among 57 stations that have two women anchoring a newscast. Fellow CBS affiliae WRAL Raleigh has two women anchoring, but they are paired with a male co-anchor. No wonder WRAL has been a strong CBS affiliate  since 1985.

Related Links:
Women Anchoring, Men Reporting: By The Numbers
What INNCD found  (Adobe Reader Format)

See also:
Women in The Newsroom Part 1
Women in the Newsroom Part 2
Viewers respond to Women in The Newsroom
Talk About it:
INNCD News Investigates: Women Anchoring, Men Reporting

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