Famed Media Critic on CNN Debacle Being What Happens When You Don’t Play by the Rules



Recently Kevin Price, Host of the nationally syndicated Price of Business Show, interviewed filmmaker Warren D. Robinson (image below).

Price and Robinson discuss the outrageous situation at CNN on many different fronts.

The latest CNN debacle involving its former leader Jeff Zucker is an example of the chaos that ensues when corporate protection policies are ignored. CNN, like most large companies, has internal procedures in place to protect employees from abuse, pressure and unfair practices involving management. Those policies, however, are only effective when they are followed. Zucker is accused of having an undisclosed romantic relationship with a subordinate in violation of CNN workplace rules.  “On its face a consensual relationship with an employee is not a big deal” says entertainment executive, producer and lawyer Warren D. Robinson “however, failure to disclose that relationship as required is a major violation. The rule is in place to allow the company to ensure and get on the record that the subordinate employee entered into this relationship voluntarily. They are then removed from the supervision of their partner so that there are no later abuse of power issues that may make them stay in that relationship. This is a huge protection for employees but also protects the company from later sexual harassment and abuse of power claims.”  Robinson believes Zucker’s behavior should have come as no surprise, “When he so publicly broke longstanding CNN (and pretty much any legit media organizations) guidelines as it related to his friend Chris Cuomo, interviewing and reporting on his brother then New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, that should have been a red flag that he was willing to bend any rules.” Robinson concludes this could be just the tip of the iceberg for CNN, “We have to wait and see if all of this goes away with Zucker and Cuomo but I wouldn’t be surprised if we hear more stories, maybe a lawsuit or two, from former or current CNN employees. Either way CNN has a long way to go to restore both their public and internal reputation.”

According to a statement, “Entertainment executive and producer, Warren D. Robinson believes that when organizations are willing to have open and honest conversations about race and their own bias they can commit to meaningful change. We have seen this recently in the form of Hollywood award shows, particularly, the Grammys and the Academy Awards (Oscars). The Recording Academy and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have both taken concrete steps to diversify their ranks and address inherit biases in their voting processes. As a result we have the most diverse crop of award winners/nominees, respectively, we’ve ever seen. Contrast that with the scandal and production shutdown currently at CBS’s The Talk, which resulted because a co-host was unable to properly engage in a conversation about race, address her own bias and commit to doing better. ‘The key part to every conversation’ Warren says, ‘starts with listening. Listening and hearing are different and if you are unable to listen then you are unable to have a conversation.’



“Warren D. Robinson, is an avid and accomplished entertainment executive, motivational speaker, host, life coach and award winning producer who created the wildly popular series, Buried by the Bernards, which is currently streaming on Netflix.


“Warren has served as an entertainment consultant, manager and producer, facilitating, appearing and negotiating high powered deals on behalf of his clients in front of such companies as: Warner Brothers, BET, CNN, Freemantle, Best Buy, TV ONE, Netflix, Lifetime, Fox News, WE TV, E!, NBC Universal, Viacom and more. In addition, Warren’s entertainment prowess includes coordinating, partnering and/or producing events for: legendary actress Pam Grier, Taraji P Henson, Gabrielle Union, Vivica A Fox, Soul singer Eddie Levert (of the O’Jays), Comedian Mike Epps, Angie Stone, Flavor Flav, the Indianapolis Colts, Donna Joyner-Richardson, Stephanie Mills, Erykah Badu and Tom Joyner among others. Warren graduated from Indiana University (B.A.-Political Science) and Howard University School Of Law (J.D.).”

Learn more about Warren D. Robinson and his work here.


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