When long-time Today show host Matt Lauer was booted from the network following allegations of sexual misconduct, little did he know that his removal would help his female journalist colleagues.
According to Money, “Lauer’s dismissal means two women now rank within the top three highest-paid television anchor positions,” launching NBC’s Megyn Kelly and ABC’s Robin Roberts into the exclusive club. However, neither of the two anchors occupy the top spot, says Money, with Fox News’ Sean Hannity leading the pack with a $36 million-per-year contract.
So where do Kelly and Roberts fall on the list? Money says Roberts sits at No. 2, raking in $18 million per year, a contract she’s earned after hosting Good Morning America since 2005 and winning four Emmy Awards for Outstanding Morning Program.
Kelly’s position, however, is a bit more nebulous, as Money reports that the lawyer-turned-journalist makes between $15 million and $20 million per year. While Variety says her contract equals that of Roberts, Money offers that the former Fox News host’s salary remains unconfirmed.
No matter their exact salaries, it sure is refreshing to see female journalists at the top of the list. Now if only we could a woman in the No. 1 spot…
The network that provides its viewers with powerful female characters like Olivia Pope and Annalise Keating has just named a real-life female powerhouse as its president.
According to The Huffington Post, ABC Entertainment Group named Channing Dungey, a former executive vice president for ABC’s drama development, as its president on Wednesday, Feb. 17, making her the first black person to lead a major broadcast network. She will replace outgoing president Paul Lee, who had resigned after being at the forefront of the push for more diversity in the network’s programming since 2010.
Disney-ABC Television Group Chairman Ben Sherwood spoke on Dungey’s appointment in a statement, calling her a “gifted leader and a proven magnet for top creative talent, with an impressive record of developing compelling, breakthrough programming that resonates with viewers.”
In her previous position, Dungey helped to launch some of ABC’s most popular shows, including Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder, Nashville and Once Upon a Time, all shows that deliver strong female leads.
And now ABC has their own strong female leading the way. Congratulations, Channing Dungey!
As if being the first Southeast Asian actress to star in a major network’s drama series wasn’t enough, Quantico’s Priyanka Chopra claimed yet another title to add to her already-growing list: becoming the first Southeast Asian woman to win a People’s Choice Award.
According to Mic, Chopra expressed her gratitude for the award this way: “It’s my first year in America … and to come to another country, and actually to get this kind of acceptance, I guess [is] what America is all about. Thank you all for accepting me.”
Although Chopra is seen as a trailblazer for women and people of color, the actress sees herself a bit differently. When an interview with the Los Angeles Times in October if she sees herself as “‘breaking some boundary,'” Chopra said, “I believe we’ve created borders with too many colors … Entertainment is entertainment, cast the right person for the job. Let’s get beyond looking at each other for where we come from.”
Explaining the importance Chopra’s People’s Choice Award win, Julie Zeilinger of Mic says that her victory is especially meaningful given the dominance of the film and television industry by white males:
“Hollywood studio senior management is 92% white and 83% male, according to a 2015 Women’s Media Center report. On screen, women still only accounted for 12% of protagonists and 30% of speaking parts in 2014, according to the same report, and actresses of color fared even worse: White people fill lead roles more than twice as often as people of color, and 17% of films failed to include speaking black characters at all.”
While Chopra may think otherwise, her win solidifies her a dominant female figure in the television industry, and hopefully signifies a shift toward more diversity in Hollywood.
Congratulations, Priyanka Chopra!