CNN International chief Tony Maddox had a town hall meeting today at CNN London, and things got a bit awkward — to say the least, so say our sources.
At the conclusion of Maddox’s presentation to staffers, he opened it up to questions.
A social media producer was said to have asked him on what is being done to improve diversity among on the channel.
Maddox was said to have paused and then said, “Can you elaborate on what you mean by that?”
As multiple sources pointed out, CNNI features primarily White men and women anchors, and most of them are of a European background.
The producer responded, “Most of our air is white middle-aged people, are we looking at adding different voices?”
“Being on CNN is a very demanding job. Our reporters have to be extraordinary to be on CNN. CNN is not an easy place. At any point we have 2-3 people who are at the junior reporter rota. They are trying to make it. But I am not going to put people on simply because I have to have different voices. Frankly there are better places for people to train and come on par. CNN is just not that place. CNN is an extremely competitive place,” Maddox said.
CNN International correspondent/anchor Isa Soares posed the question: “But we can have diverse voices on air, guests?”
To which he replied, “Yes, we can have voices by all means.”
Sources say the meeting ended with everyone feeling very uncomfortable.