REPORT: Ethnic Diversity On The 2013 Sunday Morning Talk Shows

White guests greatly outnumbered all other guests on the broadcast and CNN Sunday morning talk shows in 2013. Melissa Harris-Perry continued to be the most ethnically diverse program.

Throughout 2013, Media Matters has analyzed guest appearances on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos, CBS' Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer, Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, NBC's Meet the Press with David Gregory, CNN's State of the Union with Candy Crowley, and MSNBC's Up with Steve Kornacki and Melissa Harris-Perry, political talk shows that often set the media and political agenda. Media Matters has previously released analyses of the firstsecond, and third quarters of the year and an overview analysis of the whole year.

This report examines the ethnicity of guests in a more detailed manner.

Whites Dominated Guest Lists On Broadcast And CNN In 2013

More Than Seven In Ten Guests On Broadcast, CNN Were White. The four broadcast Sunday shows hosted white people 84 percent of the time, and CNN hosted whites 73 percent of the time. 

Increased Ethnic Diversity Reversed Course In Fourth Quarter Of 2013. During the first three quarters of 2013, all seven Sunday shows demonstrated increased diversity among guests in this measure -- CNN particularly so, with a drop from an 83 percent white majority in the first quarter to a 64 percent white majority in the third quarter. But that trend reversed in the last three months of the year, with broadcast, CNN, and MSNBC (slightly) showing a decrease in ethnic diversity: broadcast returned to its high of an 85 percent white majority, CNN had a 75 percent white majority, and MSNBC had its highest white majority in the fourth quarter at 58 percent of all guests.

White Men Were By Far The Largest Group Represented On Broadcast, CNN. While only 31 percent of Americans are white men, the group constituted 64 percent of guests on broadcast and 54 percent on CNN. MSNBC was the only network to host white men closer to their proportion in the general population -- 34 percent of guests on MSNBC were white men.

Proportion Of White Men Increased After Downward Trend Earlier In 2013. The proportion of white men on CNN decreased dramatically between the first and second quarters of the year, but the number of white men has increased slightly since, with the group representing 54 percent of all guests in the fourth quarter on CNN. The proportions of white men on broadcast and MSNBC reached their highest in the fourth quarter -- 67 percent of guests on broadcast and 38 percent of guests on MSNBC were white men.

Melissa Harris-Perry Continued To Be The Most Ethnically Diverse Sunday Show. With only 44 percent of white guests, Melissa Harris-Perry was the only program to have a combined majority of Africa-American, Asian-American, Latino, and Middle Eastern guests, totaling 56 percent of all guests. All other shows had a significant majority of white guests; broadcast was particularly egregious, with all four shows hosting white guests at least 80 percent of the time.

Melissa Harris-Perry Was The Only Show To Give Non-White Guests A Majority Of Solo Interview Time.Melissa Harris-Perry devoted 61 percent of its solo interview time to non-white guests, leaving the show in stark contrast with all other Sunday programs. At least 72 percent of one-on-one interview time on broadcast and CNN went to white guests, with Face the Nation and Fox News Sunday being the worst in this measure --86 percent of their solo interview time went to white guests. Up did not conduct enough solo interviews in the period studied to be included in this chart.

Melissa Harris-Perry and Up Were The Only Shows To Host A Majority Of Guests Other Than White Men. Both MSNBC programs hosted white men at much lower rates than their broadcast and CNN counterparts, with only 27 of guests on Melissa Harris-Perry and 42 percent on Up being white men. On broadcast, all four shows hosted white men at least 60 percent of the time. CNN trailed closely with 54 percent of guests being white men.


We reviewed every edition of ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos, CBS' Face The Nation with Bob Schieffer, NBC's Meet The Press with David Gregory, Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday, CNN's State of the Union with Candy Crowley, and the Sunday editions of MSNBC's Up with Steve Kornacki (previously Up with Chris Hayes prior to April 13, 2013) and Melissa Harris-Perry during 2013. Guest appearances for all seven programs were coded for gender and ethnicity. Not all percentages add up to 100 due to rounding.

Charts by Oliver Willis and Ben Dimiero. Hannah Groch-Begley contributed research to this report.