Joy-Ann Reid Snags Afternoon Anchor Slot at MSNBC

Joy-Ann Reid
Kris Connor/Getty Images
Joy-Ann Reid
Kris Connor/Getty Images

Joy-Ann Reid to Host Own Show on MSNBC

The Grio to Stay, Despite Fate of NBC Latino

Joy-Ann Reid, managing editor of the Grio and an MSNBC contributor since 2011, will host her own show on MSNBC, the network announced on Monday.


David Wilson, co-founder of the Grio, told Journal-isms that he is returning to the site as managing editor when Reid departs and maintained that NBC has no plans to drop the site, as it did this month with NBC Latino.

"NBC has a long-term interest in the ongoing success of the Grio," Wilson said by telephone. "We are partners with MSNBC, and we see that going forward."


The future of the English-language NBC Latino and the Grio were said to be the subject of internal discussions at NBCUniversal, which has seen new executives at the top of its news operations.

Hugo Balta, president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, met Friday with NBCUniversal executives over the absorption of NBC Latino into, Balta wrote in a message posted on the NAHJ website.

"While many have and will continue to be (rightfully so) critical of NBCU’s decision, I can assure you the motivating factor was purely business. No one I spoke to disagrees that the Latino community is an important voice at NBCU (coverage, content, employees). Still the realities of business models, corporate priorities and strategies have an effect on any operation," Balta wrote.

Referring to English-dominant Latinos, he added, "I agree and support the absorption of NBC Latino [into] a new website that includes and exposes their unique voice to all audiences." 


Monday's announcement about its new daytime schedule also places "News Nation" with Tamron Hall at 11 a.m. ET and "Andrea Mitchell Reports" at noon ET. The network is adding an as-yet unnamed show with Ronan Farrow, 26-year-old media personality and son of actress Mia Farrow, at 1 p.m.

"One of the highlights of this job is finding new talent," Phil Griffin, MSNBC president, said in a news release. "Ronan and Joy are two of the most thoughtful and impressive journalists out there and I'm excited for what they will bring to the afternoon."


The news release also said, "Joy Reid has been the managing editor of and MSNBC contributor since July 2011. She’s also been a frequent substitute host on MSNBC during all dayparts. Reid is a political columnist for 'The Miami Herald' and editor of the politics blog The Reid Report. Reid has worked in television and radio news since 1998 and her columns have appeared in a variety of outlets including"

Reid's new 2 p.m. hour-long show, as yet unnamed, gives MSNBC five African American hosts, though all outside of prime time: Reid, Melissa Harris-PerryAl Sharpton, Karen Finney and Hall. In addition, Touré is one of four hosts of "The Cycle."


The network said in December that 2013 was the fourth consecutive year that MSNBC prime time was first with African American viewers among cable news networks. From 6 a.m. to 2 a.m., 30 percent of MSNBC's sought-after 25-54 audience was African American, and 7 percent was Hispanic.

NBCU's commitment to programming targeting people of color was a factor in government approval of the company's bid to be absorbed by Comcast in 2011. Comcast made a series of promises regarding diversity. NAHJ was among groups opposing the merger, saying that "this massive media consolidation will lead to fewer journalism jobs, less coverage of the Latino community, less diversity of voices, and excessive control for one company over the country's media."


More recently, top executives at NBC have changed, with Patricia Fili-Krushel, a television executive with scant news background, becoming NBCU News Group chairman and Deborah Turness, a British news executive, joining NBC News as president. Steve Capus, the previous NBC News president, left the network, as did Antoine Sanfuentes, a Latino who was senior vice president at NBC News.

Last May, the Grio was placed under MSNBC, and Grio co-founders Wilson and Dan Woolsey, who helped to launch the site in 2009 with NBC, departed from active involvement. However, Wilson stayed on as an adviser as he pursued entrepreneurial projects.


Management questioned the viability of NBC Latino and the Grio, and NBC Latino, which remained under NBC News on the organizational chart, did not survive as a separate entity.

Balta said he met Friday with Craig Robinson, executive vice president and chief diversity officer; Greg Gittrich, vice president of news and product and executive editor of NBC News Digital; Yvette Miley, MSNBC vice president and executive editor; and others from the network’s diversity and human resources team.


"I shared with them my criticism and they agreed that NBCU is not nearly where they should be in regards to best serving the Latino community; especially given the fact they have a wealth of experience in Telemundo (a company that was acquired by NBCU in 2002)," Balta wrote.

He also said, "Here’s what needs to happen. Sandra Lilley, Managing Editor and Suzanne Gamboa, Senior Writer will be responsible for the content of the Latino section. It is on them (to begin with) to ensure that the stories are robust and faithful to Latinos’ interests and concerns. It is on us (NAHJ) to assist them and keep them to that promise. . . ."


The NBC Latino section has remained static for several days.

Morrie Turner, Pioneer Comic Strip Creator, Dies at 90

"Morris 'Morrie' Turner, the creator of the Wee Pals comic strip and the first African American artist to have a column syndicated nationally, has died," KTVU-TV in Oakland, Calif., reported Sunday. "He was 90.


"A spokesman for Turner said the Oakland-born artist died peacefully at a hospital in Sacramento on Saturday.

"Turner developed the ethnically diverse comic strip in 1965 at the urging of his mentor Charles Schulz, the creator of the Peanuts comic strip.


"He was recognized in 2003 by the National Cartoonist Society for his work with the Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award. . . ."

Turner's "Wee Pals" did not achieve national syndication until after the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Three strips about black children — adults were deemed too threatening — found national audiences then: "Wee Pals," Brumsic Brandon Jr.'s "Luther" and Ted Shearer's "Quincy." "Wee Pals" was the last to survive.


Joseph Hughes wrote for the Comics Alliance, "Turner never retired from cartooning, illustrating new Wee Pals strips even as his health declined, while also regularly visiting schools to offer art lessons to children. This bio page of Turner sums up his goal with Wee Pals rather succinctly: 'It was Morrie’s intention to portray a world without prejudice, a world in which people's differences — race, religion, gender, and physical and mental ability — are cherished, not scorned.' Wee Pals was a charming strip with a diverse cast, but it didn't go out of its way to point out its diversity. Turner created a strip that treated cultural diversity exactly how it should be treated: like it is a perfectly normal thing. . . ."

George Kelly, Storify: Remembering 'Wee Pals' creator @MorrieTurner #RIPMorrieTurner


Hate Crimes Unit Investigates Beating of Arts Journalist

"Police are investigating the beating of an openly gay journalist in Midtown Manhattan last week as a possible bias attack," Carolina Leid reported Monday for WABC-TV in New York.


"Now, a sketch has been released of the person police are looking for. . . ."

Leid added, "The hate crimes task force is investigating the attack on Randy Gener, a Filipino-American editor, writer, and artist. 'Please Lord Jesus, heal my friend, heal my husband, heal my partner, and bring him back to all of us,' said Stephen Nisbet, the victim's husband.


"On January 17, he was attacked in Midtown, a block away from his apartment. He had just left a party around 4 a.m. and was on his way home near 54th and 7th Avenue — that is where he crossed paths with his attackers who beat him and left him for dead in the street.

"Gener's family and friends also held a vigil Sunday at 7th Avenue and 53rd Street, and they are asking for the public's help in finding his attacker.


"After the attack, police were called, and Gener was found unconscious in a pool of his own blood with his head bashed in.

"Gener suffered severe head trauma and is currently in intensive care recovering from brain surgery at St. Luke's Hospital. He's listed in serious but stable condition. . . .


" 'He can't answer the questions of what happened that night, he doesn't really exactly know who we are or where he's at sometimes,' said Gener's sister, Jessica Blair Driessler, 'and it's really painful to see him here the way that he is because he's the most articulate person.' . . ."

Gener, a member of the Asian American Journalists Association and the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, has reported for the New York Times, the Daily News in New York and other major publications. He was NLGJA's 2010 Journalist of the Year.


Family and friends have set up a website ( to help cover Gener's medical expenses.

Jay Smooth explains the "Moving the Race Conversation Forward" report. Smooth founded New York's longest running hip-hop radio show, WBAI's "Underground Railroad." (video)


Individual Racism, Not Systemic, Gets Media's Attention

"Two-thirds of race-focused media coverage fails to consider how systemic racism factors into the story, instead typically focusing upon racial slurs and other types of personal prejudice and individual-level racism," according to Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation.


The center Wednesday named "Seven harmful racial discourse practices, which reinforce the common misconception that racism is simply a problem of rare, isolated, individual attitudes and actions: Individualizing Racism, Falsely Equating Incomparable Acts, Diverting From Race, Portraying Government as Overreaching, Prioritizing (Policy) Intent over Impact, Condemning Through Coded Language, and Silencing History . . . "

Race Forward publishes the Colorlines website. Researchers analyzed nearly 1,200 newspaper articles and transcripts from cable TV outlets.


Gene Demby, "Code Switch," NPR: The Ugly, Fascinating History Of The Word 'Racism' (Jan. 6)

Fusion Network Covering State of Union With Puppets

"When President Obama delivers his State of the Union address Tuesday evening, NBC News will trot out Brian Williams to anchor its coverage," Brian Steinberg reported Monday for Variety. "Fox News Channel will rely on Bret Baier. PBS will feature Judy Woodruff and Gwen Ifill. But Fusion, the upstart news-and-lifestyle cable outlet, will make use of two bickering crabs and a talking hot dog.


"In a maneuver sure to raise eyebrows, Fusion, a joint venture of Univision and ABC News that launched in October, will veer from the traditional when offering coverage of the President's annual agenda-setting speech. Rather than give the spotlight to Jorge Ramos or Leon Krauze, two veteran news anchors who occupy important slots in its primetime schedule, Fusion will instead count on the talents of a group of puppets, and the comedic minds who fill their mouths with speech. . . ."

Nancy Benac and Jennifer Agiesta, Associated Press: Poll: At Obama's 5-Yr Point, Few See a Turnaround


Michael Calderone, Huffington Post: Muckraking Journalists Needed Now More Than Ever As Inequality Gap Grows

Merrill Knox, TVNewser: State of the Union Coverage Plans: Broadcast Networks

Merrill Knox, TVNewser: State of the Union Coverage Plans: Cable Networks

Brendan Nyhan, Columbia Journalism Review: Will reporters miss the real story on the State of the Union again?


Spencer Overton, Huffington Post: The State of the Union and African Americans

Pew Research Center: Most See Inequality Growing, but Partisans Differ over Solutions


Imprisoned Journalist Says Egypt Wants to Stifle Dissent

"Australian-born Al-Jazeera journalist Peter Greste, who has been imprisoned in Egypt for four weeks, says his arrest is designed to send a message to all journalists covering Egypt that dissent will not be tolerated," Anne Davies reported Sunday for Australia's Sydney Morning Herald.


"In an emotional letter which he sent from Tora jail, on the outskirts of Cairo, where he is being held, Mr Greste said he had decided to speak out in defence of the fundamental right of freedom of the press, having realised that his arrest was not due to a mistake but a deliberate campaign by the government.

"Greste and two producers, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, are accused of collaborating with a terrorist organisation [the Muslim Brotherhood], of hosting Muslim Brotherhood meetings in their hotel rooms, of using unlicensed equipments to deliberately broadcast false information to further their aims of defaming and discrediting the Egyptian state.


"Mr Greste said the Egyptian Government had presented no evidence to support the allegations and he had not been formally charged with any crime. . . ."

Peter Greste, Al Jazeera: A letter from Tora prison

International Press Institute: IPI delegation makes emergency visit to Cairo

Reporter Barely Escapes Alive After Posing as Sex Worker

"For four months last year, Tobore Ovuorie, 33, senior investigative reporter with the PREMIUM TIMES Nigeria, went undercover in that country's human traffic circles. Before taking that step, she had researched the rise and causes of human traffic in Nigeria for years," reported on Friday.


" 'Six out of every trafficked persons arriving in the West are Nigerian', she says. 'So we need to look at what causes all these, mostly young, people to put their fate in the hands of these criminals.' What she noted throughout is that many women will go willingly into prostitution hoping to escape from poverty. To many of these women, leaving Nigeria for sex work elsewhere seems a beckoning prospect. Going abroad is known as 'the next level.' Ovuorie pretended to be desperate for the trip as documented in her report, published in her own paper, PREMIUM TIMES, as well as ZAM Chronicle," in Amsterdam.

"Ovuorie decided that to go undercover inside such a transport destined for this 'next level' was the missing piece of the puzzle. She wanted to tell the story of the many women who leave, often never to return. What happens to you after you cross the border? What do the traffickers do once you decide to 'sign the contract' with them?


"Ovuorie found that out in the most horrific way: by witnessing two fellow trafficked 'products' being beheaded and slaughtered in front of her. She herself barely escaped alive from the 'training camp' where her group was taken to be sorted into a group for travelling onwards and a group of 'unsuitables'. The 'unsuitables' were deemed to be possessed by demons: they were sent to be treated by voodoo doctors and beaten.

"Ovuorie was one of them. . . ."

Short Takes

"Arlene Notoro Morgan, a highly respected journalist and educator who has championed diversity in news employment and content, is joining Temple University's School of Media and Communication for the coming year," the university announced on Friday. "Morgan, a former Philadelphia Inquirer editor who most recently was associate dean at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, will be a visiting professor in the Department of Journalism and will serve as a special assistant to Dean David Boardman on external affairs. . . ."


Vickie Walton-James, acting national editor at NPR News, is leading a team of reporters to Russia to cover the Winter Olympics. Team members include Los Angeles-based black journalists Sam Sanders and Sonari Glinton as well as Tamara Keith, who covers the White House, and Robert Smith, New York-based correspondent for the Planet Money project.

"Joe Grimm, visiting editor in residence for MSU's School of Journalism, is one of only three people across campus chosen to receive a 2014 Excellence in Diversity individual award for his outstanding efforts and commitment to the principles of diversity and inclusion," Michigan State University announced last week. "President Lou Anna Simon and Acting Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs June Pierce Youatt will present Grimm with the award Monday, Feb. 3, at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center. . . ."


Florida A&M University's School of Journalism and Graphic Communication is seeking applications for a non-tenured, fixed-term appointment of up to five years for a Knight Chair for Student Achievement. "Candidates should have recent experience as a practicing professional journalist with digital skills and a reputation for quality. Preferred candidates also would have experience in leadership and mentoring. A master's degree in a relevant discipline and college-level teaching experience are preferred but not required. . . ." Former Chair Joe Ritchie retired last year and said he would take up residence in Asia.

Harris Faulkner "anchors Fox News Channel's weekend 'Fox Report,' reports breaking news during the week across the network," and spoke to Lost Remote about her third job: leveraging social TV for Fox News," Jordan Chariton reported last week for Lost Remote. Faulkner "also notes how the increased synergy between social media and TV News is helping bring in younger viewers — the holy grail for cable news executives — since younger viewers grew up multi-tasking compared to their older counterparts," Chariton wrote.


The Wall Street Journal is looking for a reporter to serve as a blogger for Speakeasy, the Journal's culture site. "This journalist would play a lead role writing, producing and posting text and video blog posts dealing with breaking news in entertainment, media, celebrity and the arts. A primary part of this reporter's job would be producing and posting online articles about the arts written by other journalists at, and helping to ensure that the biggest breaking-news stories are presented in the swiftest, most effective way. . . ." according to an advertisement. Christopher John Farley, the Journal's senior editorial director, digital features, oversees the site.

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Journal-isms is published on the site of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education ( Reprinted on The Root by permission.

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