CNN has withdrawn its financial support of the National Association of Black Journalists for the 2015 Convention and Career Fair. NABJ president Bob Butler made the announcement at the organization’s Board of Directors meeting.
In a statement issued last week, “NABJ Concerned About Atmosphere at CNN for African-Americans,” NABJ expressed concern over the large number of African-American staff members leaving and being fired from the cable news network. Several African-American anchors have left the anchor desk or CNN altogether in the past few years.
Following the release, CNN contacted Butler and informed him that the association’s request for support was denied.
Since then, CNN announced a major layoff in which at least five senior managers were let go. In the past year, nearly a dozen African-American managers have resigned, been laid off or were terminated, according to NABJ.
“I understand the company has a right to make personnel decisions,” Butler said. “There were not that many African-American managers at CNN in the first place. These layoffs have hurt our members tremendously. I am severely disappointed that CNN has ended our partnership.”
CNN’s decision to pull its support follows NABJ’s statement that it’s “concerned about the atmosphere for African-Americans at CNN,” which came after a longtime CNN employee filed a $5 million wrongful termination and discrimination lawsuit against the network.
Stanley Wilson, who spent 17 years at CNN as a field producer and writer of news and documentaries, was terminated Jan. 28. He was promoted only once, and claims that his supervisor, Peter Janos, never liked him because of his race, among other things.