There we were, sitting in the conference room in the NBC headquarters at 30 Rockefeller Center with a horde of NBC news executives — from the president of NBC News to almost all the vice presidents of the news division, and producers from the “Today” show, “Dateline NBC,” “Meet The Press” and “NBC Nightly News,” just to name a few. And let me not forget the president of MSNBC and a host of that network’s executives. And they asked me to introduce myself to the assembled executives.
So I said, “My name is Mark Segal, and this is my first time back in 30 Rock in almost 40 years. The last time I was taken out in handcuffs for disrupting the ‘Today’ show.”
This brought lots of laughter, and sort of broke the ice, since our group was at the meeting with NBC brass from Comcast’s Joint Diversity Council. And it has been my honor to represent the LGBT community, but this meeting wasn’t just about LGBT issues, it was about all diversity issues.
The fact that we had an SRO herd of NBC executives in the room makes the point of how serious they are about not only understanding diversity, but also about understanding the full range of diversity. Our group consisted of representatives from American-Indian, Hispanic, people of color, Asian-Pacific, disabled and LGBT communities.
We agreed that what took place in the meeting was off the record so at present I can’t write about that, but what I can say is that in over 40 years of working to change mainstream media, I’ve never seen one news outlet of any kind have so many of their executives in one room and it wasn’t compulsory.
One last point: This time when I left 30 Rock, I was not in handcuffs.
Mark Segal, PGN publisher, is the nation’s most-award-winning commentator in LGBT media. He can be reached at [email protected].