CNN has significantly fewer women serving in visible on-air roles than either Fox News or MSNBC, according to an analysis of weekday programming by TheWrap.
In fact, the Time Warner-owned network has half as many female solo anchors on weekdays as its cable news competitors — three compared to six each for Fox News and MSNBC — and none during the highly visible primetime hours from 8 p.m to 11 p.m.
This contrasts sharply with MSNBC, which boasts primetime powerhouse Rachel Maddow, and Fox News, where conservative fire-breather Laura Ingraham basically replaced Megyn Kelly in Fox News’ lineup last fall.
In total weekday hours for women, Fox News emerged as the cable news leader with 15 hours of coverage featuring women as either anchors or co-anchors. CNN and MSNBC each broadcast 11 hours with at least one female co-host.
A look at weekday coverage between 4 a.m. and midnight on all three channels revealed that CNN has just three women serving in solo anchoring roles: Kate Bolduan, Brooke Baldwin and Erin Burnett. (For the purposes of the analysis, TheWrap ignored the first four hours of the broadcast day, from midnight to 4 a.m., since all three networks typically air reruns of earlier broadcasts at that time.)
“The fact that CNN has the worst female representation is especially condemning considering the profound mediocrity they are willing to accept from male contributors,” Teen Vogue columnist Lauren Duca told TheWrap.
“Women are grossly underrepresented across all the major networks, leading to a diminishment of the female perspective, if not outright sexism,” she said. “Until women comprise 50 percent of both hosts and on-air guests, Fox, CNN and MSNBC have no right claiming to accurately depict the national conversation.” (TheWrap’s analysis did not include an assessment of the gender breakdown of on-air guests.)
A spokesperson for CNN and Fox News declined to comment for this story; MSNBC did not respond to requests for comment.
A senior CNN employee, however, told TheWrap that the channel had better gender representation than the data would suggest, but that there was definitely more work to be done.
“Do women need to be better represented as show hosts? Absolutely,” the individual said. “I think that women should be better represented on CNN and probably all the networks.
“MSNBC is doing well on female representation on air,” the employee added.
All three news networks tended to have more women on air during the less visible weekend hours. Fox News has weekend shows hosted by Judge Jeanine Pirro, Maria Bartiromo and Julie Banderas. For MSNBC, Joy Reid, Alex Witt, and Yasmin Vossoughian anchor shows. And CNN has Fredricka Whitfield and Ana Cabrera.
As the MeToo movement brings women’s visibility and empowerment to the forefront of the national conversation, many media companies have attempted to meet the challenge by increasing the visibility of female talent.
After Matt Lauer’s ouster from the “Today” show, his co-host Savannah Guthrie was joined by a newly promoted Hoda Kotb.
The program’s longtime executive producer, Don Nash, also stepped aside last week in favor of Libby Leist, who is now the first woman to lead the show during its 7 and 8 a.m. ET hours.
17 Times Fox News Hosts Criticized Donald Trump, From Charlottesville to Helsinki (Photos)
Megyn Kelly calls Trump out on women Trump famously feuded former anchor Kelly after she asked him a tough question at a Republican primary debate about derogatory statements he's made about women. Trump took it personally, judging by his response on Twitter and in interviews. He later famously said Kelly must have had "blood coming out of her wherever" regarding the question. Watch the debate question here.
Kelly to Trump: "Facts matter" Trump kept hammering at Kelly on Twitter and elsewhere. When he called her out for not using the IBT poll when he was leading the Republican primary field, Kelly rebuked him with a tweet showing she did use the poll. "Facts matter," she wrote.
Fox mocks Trump with statement on debate skipping poll After polled his Twitter followers to see if he should drop out of a Fox-hosted Republican primary debate, Fox responded artfully with a sarcastic statement that it had learned from "secret" sources Trump might be treated unfairly as president by foreign leaders.
Bill O'Reilly calls out Trump's tweet with totally wrong stats "The O'Reilly Factor" grilled Trump in a Nov. 2015 interview about his tweet that erroneously said black people killed whites at a rate of 81 percent, while whites kill blacks at a rate of 15 percent. O'Reilly told Trump, "You shouldn't tweet." Trump did not take that advice.
Chris Wallace bucks Trump calling media "enemy of the public" After his press conference in January 2017, Trump continued his attack on media he doesn't like on Twitter. Anchor Chris Wallace wasn't having it on "Fox & Friends." Wallace said Trump's comments "crossed an important line" and said they were dangerous.
Wallace says the media is too easy on Trump In an interview with TheWrap, Wallace said he thinks Sunday political shows in particular should be tougher on Trump. "I think if anything, the media has treated him too well. By that I mean they’ve allowed him to play by different rules." Read the full interview.
O'Reilly tells Trump Putin is "a killer" In a February interview, O'Reilly brought up Trump's apparent refusal to criticize Vladimir Putin, calling the Russian president "a killer." Trump famously responded by saying, "What, you think our country is so innocent?" Watch it here.
Smith wails on Trump's refusal to talk about Russia hacks Nobody on Fox hits Trump harder than Shep Smith. "We have a right to know… You call us ‘fake news’ and put us down like children for asking questions on behalf of the American people." Watch it here.
Neil Cavuto tells Trump he's the problem, not mainstream media Responding to Trump's tweet claiming the mainstream media wants him off social media, Cavuto called out Trump for losing track of his own agenda. "Mr. President, it is not the fake news media that's your problem, it's you," Cavuto said. Watch it here.
Smith blasts Trump administration on Russia: "Lie after lie after lie" Shep Smith was at it again following the news breaking about Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with a Kremlin-linked lawyer. He took the Trump administration to task for its many lies about meetings with Russia, including Jared Kushner failing to report the meeting on his security clearance forms. "My grandmother used to say, 'What a tangled web we weave when first we try to deceive,'" Smith declared on air, leaving fellow anchor Chris Wallace speechless. Watch it here.
Eboni K. Williams slams Trump's remarks about Charlottesville
Following the Unite the Right rally in which a counter-protester was murdered, Trump blamed "both sides" for the violence. On "Fox News Specialists," host Eboni K. Williams took Trump to task for not standing up to white nationalists and white supremacists who support him, calling his initial remarks about the rally "cowardly and dangerous."
Brian Kilmeade calls Trump tweet "ridiculous" blaming U.S. for Russia relations
In a rare sight in the lead up to the summit in Helsinki between Trump and Putin, Trump tweeted, "Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!" On "Fox and Friends," a show that has been extremely favorable to Trump (he even calls in), host Brian Kilmeade said of the tweet, "That’s by far the most ridiculous tweet of late, and that is insulting to past administrations. He can’t be saying that going into the Russian summit." Watch the clip here.
Cavuto blasts Trump's performance in Helsinki: "disgusting"
Neil Cavuto took Trump to task more than once after his Helsinki press conference with Putin. When former Deputy Assistant Attorney General Tom Dupree said Trump could have rebuked Putin for his Russia's attack on U.S. elections, Cavuto said, "But he didn’t and that’s what made it disgusting. That’s what made his performance disgusting. I’m sorry, it’s just the only way I feel. It’s not a right or left thing for me, it’s just wrong." Watch it here.
Trish Regan says Trump "should have defended us" against Putin
Fox Business host Trish Regan got mad about Trump's performance on her show "The Intelligence Report." "He should have defended us," she said. "He should have defended his own intelligence community. Or just don’t take the meeting! Don’t go to Helsinki if you can’t look the guy in the eye and tell him what’s what!" Watch it here.
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Donald Trump’s favorite network, Fox News, isn’t always rosy on what he says and does, especially when he backs Russia over the U.S. intelligence community