Roland Martin to Host Morning TV Show

The new TV One program will succeed Sunday's Washington Watch.

Roland Martin (Paul Morigi/Getty Images)
Roland Martin (Paul Morigi/Getty Images)

A day after TV One announced that Roland Martin would host a new daily morning show on its network, Journal-isms asked Martin, “What have the stories about your new show failed to mention?”

Martin replied by email:

“That no other Black network has taken on such an ambitious project to launch a show in the competitive morning space.

“All of them also ignore the reality of Blacks and social media, and by having a show that will be a three-screen show — TV, terrestrial radio and online — very few in the space today are doing that.

“Lastly, the diversity of guests in the morning space” is “about to be ramped up dramatically.”

The details, as reported by R. Thomas Umstead in Multichannel News:

TV One this fall will launch a live, one-hour weekday news/public affairs show as part of a multiplatform news offering from network parent company, Radio One.

“TV One will simulcast the last hour of the three-hour News One Now radio program to be syndicated on Radio One stations across the country, Alfred Liggins, chairman of TV One and CEO and president of Radio One, told Multichannel News. The 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. show, which will offer news and analysis of politics, entertainment, sports and culture from an African American perspective, will be hosted by former CNN journalist Roland Martin.

“While the network has yet to specify a launch date, Liggins said the show would most likely debut in mid-September prior to the Congressional Black Caucus’ Annual Legislative Conference. The Radio One portion of News One Now will also run on the Web via Radio One’s dedicated site, according to Liggins.

” ‘This is a further evolution of TV One’s commitment to better and more important television for African-Americans, and is also an extension of Radio One’s history and philosophy of making sure we inform, entertain and advocate for the African-American community,’ he said. ‘This is the first time a network has approached African-American news on this type of commitment level.’

“Liggins said TV One’s linear network simulcast of News One Now could expand to two hours or even the full three-hour radiocast in the near future. . . .”

The network’s announcement played down a significant part of the story: “TV One’s long-running, award-winning weekly news program, Washington Watch with Roland Martin, . . . concluded its four-year series run in May.

The show debuted in 2009. Johnathan Rodgers, then president and CEO of TV One, “said the creation of ‘Washington Watch’ stems from President Barack Obama winning the White House and from his own frustration with the current state of Sunday morning news shows,” Frederick Cosby wrote at the time for “The last straw that triggered Rodgers to green-light the show was what he perceived as a lack of mainstream news coverage of a black caucus trip to communist Cuba earlier this year.

” ‘They didn’t get any coverage and, if they did, people laughed and said it (the trip) didn’t matter,’ Rodgers said. ‘The Congressional Black Caucus matters to us.’ “

The show aired Sunday mornings with the other network talk shows, but unlike them, was taped on Fridays to save on production costs. C-SPAN Radio declined to rebroadcast it, as it does the mainstream shows.

Two weeks after “Washington Watch” debuted, the Nielsen Co. reported these total viewers for the Sunday talk shows: “Meet the Press,” NBC, 3,020,000; “This Week,” ABC, 2,660,000; “Face the Nation,” CBS, 2,430,000; “Fox News Sunday,” Fox News, 1,140,000; “Al Punto,” Univision, 886,000; and “Washington Watch With Roland Martin,” 70,000. The 11 a.m. hour of CNN’s “State of the Union” averaged 571,000 viewers from Sept. 21 to Oct. 11, a Nielsen spokeswoman said then.

The show appeared to have carved out a small niche. However, Rodgers said, “It’s not about the ratings.”

It was also about the content. Martin was named “Journalist of the Year” by the National Association of Black Journalists a day after he disclosed that his contract as a CNN commentator was not being renewed.

The NABJ announcement quoted Vanessa Williams, former NABJ president and an editor at the Washington Post, citing “Washington Watch.”

“No other African-American journalist and member of NABJ brought more news and analysis to black communities about the most important story of 2012 than Roland Martin. As managing editor and host of Washington Watch on TV One, Roland consistently offered journalism that reflected the hopes and fears of many African American voters as they anxiously watched to see whether Barack Obama would win a second term as president.”

National Association of Black Journalists: NABJ Congratulates Roland S. Martin on New Role as Host of TV One’s News One

Tracie Powell, Poynter Institute: How ‘Washington Watch with Roland Martin’ succeeds (Nov. 19, 2012)

Black Enterprise Ad Dollars Plummet After Cutback

Black Enterprise and Jet magazines, having cut back on the number of print issues published this year, suffered losses in print advertising dollars of 57.3 percent and 17.0 percent, respectively, for the first half of 2013, the Publishers Information Bureau reported on Tuesday.

Essence magazine suffered an 11.9 percent loss in ad dollars for its print editions, but Ebony increased its dollars by 11.5 percent, Latina by 12.5 percent and People en Español by 12.3 percent. Ad revenue for the Spanish-language Siempre Mujer declined by 9.9 percent and Ser Padres by 3 percent.

Black Enterprise announced in March it was cutting its print editions from 12 to 10 issues a year as it shifted to an emphasis on its online editions.

However, the Publishers Information Bureau, part of the Association of Magazine Media, recorded only three editions of Black Enterprise from January to June. It listed a decline of 57.3 percent in advertising dollars compared with January to June of 2012, and a decline in advertising pages of 56.6 percent.

Alfred A. Edmond Jr., the magazine’s senior vice president/multimedia editor-at- large, did not respond to requests for comment on Wednesday. But he told Journal-isms in March, “All things being equal, we intend to deliver content across 10 print issues roughly equivalent to what we’ve delivered in 12 issues each year. The savings on printing and mailing two fewer issues each year is being shifted to our other media platforms, particularly digital, which has taken over from the print platform as a source of breaking news and delivers the responsiveness and interactivity our audience expects. Those expectations can hardly be met by printed newspapers, much less by monthly or even weekly magazines.”

Edmond was paraphrasing a letter to subscribers from Earl G. Graves Jr., president and CEO, in the January/February edition.

Jet reduced its frequency to once every three weeks effective Jan. 1. It published nine issues from January to June, the bureau said, compared with 13 the previous year. Its ad pages declined by 25.8 percent. Desiree Rogers, CEO of the Johnson Publishing Co., which publishes Ebony and Jet, could not be reached on Wednesday, but she told Journal-isms in April, “The revenues from a magazine as you know are made up of subscriptions, ad revenue and newsstand. Jet is trending positive over last year in newsstand and subs,” referring to subscriptions.

The print publication no longer supplies all of many magazines’ ad revenue. Some have launched editions for tablet devices and smartphones and sell advertising there.

The Association of Magazine Media reported in its survey, “advertisers are following consumers. A preliminary study conducted by PIB based on data collected by Kantar Media showed that, for the 58 Magazine Media titles that measure both print and iPad advertising, print ad pages and iPad ad units grew +7.0 % during the first half of 2013, compared to the same period in 2012. For the same set of titles during the same period, iPad ad units increased +24.5%. This data provides a more accurate representation of Magazine Media vitality. . . .”

However, as Lauren Indvik noted Wednesday for Mashable, “Despite the solid growth in sales volume, the figures suggest that iPad ads are commanding only a fraction of the dollars that print ads do. . . .”

Overall, “print advertising continues to decline,” Emma Bazilian reported for Adweek, referring to advertising pages. “Advertising for the quarter fell 4.5 percent versus the year-ago quarter, putting the total decrease for the first half of the year at 4.9 percent.

“Some of the hardest-hit magazine categories included financial titles (The Economist, Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes, Money and Harvard Business Review all saw double-digit ad page drops on soft financial advertising), newsweeklies (Time was off 16.8 percent, The Week, 22.7 percent) and thought-leaders like The Atlantic, New York and The New Yorker. . . .”

MPA — The Association of Magazine Media: Magazine Media Advertising: The Full Picture

Social-Media Debate Not Influencing Zimmerman Jury

After taking less than a week to call 18 witnesses, George Zimmerman’s defense attorneys rested their case Wednesday in the neighborhood watch volunteer’s second-degree murder trial,” the Associated Press reported.

“Prosecutors and defense attorneys planned to work out the jury instructions before they present closing arguments Thursday. Judge Debra Nelson said the case could be sent to the six jurors as early as Friday. . . .”

The trial has been a hot topic on social media, but the debate there apparently had no effect on the jury.

Michael Skolnik, editor-in-chief of Global Grind, a news and entertainment site focusing on the hip-hop community, said on NPR’s “Tell Me More,” which devoted its program Wednesday to the trial of Zimmerman, who maintains that he shot and killed unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in self-defense:

I was in the courtroom Monday and Tuesday with Trayvon’s family, supporting them. I think, you know, watching it on television, watching it on the Internet, live streaming it or following it on Twitter certainly is very important to pay attention to what’s going on in this trial. But that courtroom, it’s so small. It’s so quiet. The jury is right there. They have no access, supposedly, to anything that we have outside of that courtroom. So all they are hearing is what’s in that courtroom.

“So all the — these sideshows, all the other, you know, issues that are going on in the media, they have no access to. They’re so focused on what’s going on that courtroom and frankly, you know, when — I was in the hearing last night — and when these blow-ups happened, you know, they’re huge. They’re huge inside that courtroom because anything that evokes emotion in such a small area, everybody feels it.”

Laura Bennett, New Republic: CNN Is Bad at Tabloid Journalism

Charles M. Blow, New York Times: Questioning the Struggle (July 3)

Stanley Crouch, Daily News, New York: Genuine empathy in a cynical age

Jarvis DeBerry, | the Times-Picayune: George Zimmerman trial shows the effectiveness of a well-funded defense

Earl Ofari Hutchinson, syndicated: Did Marijuana Use Make Travon Martin Violent?

Real Clear Politics: Juan Williams: “The Media Initially Libeled” George Zimmerman (July 6)

Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post: Zimmerman deserves a fair shake in court, if not the media

Mike Schneider, Associated Press: Impact of social media on Zimmerman trial

Lynne K. Varner, Seattle Times: George Zimmerman vs. Trayvon Martin: The trial of the century (July 5)

Erik Wemple, Washington Post: Zimmerman case a media-driven ‘racial morality play’: Claim

Matt Wilstein, Mediaite: Zimmerman Defense And Media Need To Stop Making Trayvon Martin A ‘Hypothetical’ Murderer (July 5)