Roland S. Martin, who made his last appearance as a CNN contributor on Friday, said his career growth was impeded at the cable network because he was a strong African-American male.
Speaking to on a HuffPost Live segment on race, Martin said, “You have largely white male executives who are not necessarily enamored with the idea of having strong, confident minorities who say, ‘I can do this,’” Martin said. “We deliver, but we never get the big piece, the larger salary – to be able to get from here to there.
“So tell me, so who’s hosting a show?” “Who right now, who right now is in a position to get a primetime show? Who’s up there hosting specials?” Martin continued, criticizing the network’s choice not to give him his own program. “If it’s a ratings game, and we won, how is it I never got a show?”
Martin announced earlier this month that he was leaving CNN, but decided to take some parting shots at the network’s management before his official departure.
He was named journalist of the year by the National Association of Black Jounalists (NABJ) just days before tearing into CNN’s leadership. He had been suspended by the network in February 2012 for what was perceived as an anti-gay Tweet in response to a Super Bowl commercial featuring soccer star David Beckham. Martin was taken off suspension by CNN on March 14, and announced his departure shortly thereafter, tweeting: “new boss wants his own peeps.”
That new boss is CNN President Jeff Zucker, who has been shifting the network’s programming around since taking the reins in January. Zucker was the target of harsh criticism when he decided to take host Soledad O’Brien out of the channel’s morning lineup. Both O’Brien and Martin made their last CNN appearance on Friday. The NABJ and National Association of Hispanic Journalists have said that the network lacks diversity.