PBMF and WTAE Meet About Anchor Wendy Bell’s Comments, Plan to Partner on Diversity

Pittsburgh Black Media Federation
P.O. Box 292
Pittsburgh, PA  15230
www.pbmf.org
info@pbmf.org

For Immediate Release

PBMF and WTAE Meet About Anchor Wendy Bell’s Comments, Plan to Partner on Diversity

PITTSBURGH (March 30, 2016) – The Pittsburgh Black Media Federation and WTAE-TV have agreed to an ongoing collaboration related to improving news coverage of communities of color in the Pittsburgh region.

PBMF board members and WTAE management met Wednesday to discuss the station’s response to anchor Wendy Bell’s recent racially offensive post on her station-affiliated Facebook account, and to discuss other issues related to diversity.

Hours before Wednesday’s meeting, which was scheduled last week, WTAE already had released a statement that it had ended its relationship with Bell. PBMF did not call for Bell’s employment with WTAE to end.

During the meeting, the station agreed to partner with PBMF on several diversity-related initiatives, including the following:

  • Meet with PBMF twice a year to discuss and review the station’s coverage of African-American communities and other issues related to diversity and inclusion at the station.
  • WTAE will participate in a media diversity summit that PBMF will host this summer for news organizations in the region.
  • WTAE will partner with PBMF in working to recruit talented journalists of color for its newsroom.

PBMF is encouraged by the dialogue with WTAE, and looks forward to a productive relationship. The federation plans to reach out similarly to other local media outlets, as it conducts a comprehensive media study that was launched in fall 2015.

Founded in 1973, PBMF is a nonprofit organization that advocates for diversity in newsrooms, hosts programs that recognize excellent media coverage of minority communities and trains young people to enter the media industry. The organization is a chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists. 

For more information, contact PBMF board member LaMont Jones Jr. at 412-612-9699 or info@pbmf.org, or board member Dr. Letrell Crittenden at 217-418-0195 or info@pbmf.org.