In April, Guests On Cable Evening News Programs Were Overwhelmingly White Males

May 21, 2013  |  

Could TV get any less diverse? It seems so.

Research from Media Matters finds that evening cable news guests were overwhelmingly white and male in the month of April. During that month, 76 percent of the 1,677 guests on CNN were men. And women did not make up more than 33 percent of guests on any network, reports the organization. Often called out for its racially insensitive  reporting, Fox News had the largest proportion of white guests — 83 percent. Despite the lack of diversity across the board, African Americans were the largest non-white group on all networks, representing 19 percent, 10 percent, and five percent of guests on MSNBC, Fox, and CNN, respectively.

White women, who represent 32 percent of the population, were only 21 percent of guests on cable, found the study. (White males make up only 31 percent of the U.S. population.) And non-white women who make up 19 percent of the population, were only eight percent of all guests on cable. Only 13 percent of guests on cable were non-white men yet they make up 18 percent of the population.

As far as having women on, out of 109 on CNN’s Outfront guests during the month of April, an overwhelming 81 percent were men. And, no evening show on CNN hosted women more than 29 percent of the time. Out of 128 guests who appeared on the CNN program On the Record guests in April, only 22 were women. This represented the smallest proportion of women on any evening cable news show studied. Surprisingly, The O’Reilly Factor and Hannity hosted women more often than On the Record or Special Report with Bret Baier. However, men still dominated guest lineups at 64 and 66 percent, respectively.

Over at MSNBC, they hosted more women than all of the other cable networks. On that network, All In with Chris Hayes and The Rachel Maddow Show had a higher proportion of women than any of the other programs. However, Hardball with Chris Matthews hosted women only 21 percent of the time. Although The Rachel Maddow Show had a higher percentage of women, most of its guests were white. Out of 65 total guests, only seven were non-white.

By contrast, All In With Chris Hayes not only hosted the largest proportion of women it also had  the largest proportion of non-white guests — 41 percent. All In also had the lowest proportion of white men making it the only evening cable news program to obtain such diversity.

Long story short, cable news needs to do better to represent varying perspectives. You can’t speak to everyone when everyone isn’t represented on the screen.

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