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Meet one of the few Black woman journalists ever to anchor a US evening news program

Joy Reid, who rose to fame because of her criticism of President Donald Trump, will chair a new nightly show on MSNBC.

Meet one of the few Black woman journalists ever to anchor a US evening news program
Image Source: Leading Women Defined: Women On Washington. WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 01. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images for BET)

News anchor Joy Reid will be the host of a new nightly show on MSNBC called The ReidOut. The show succeeds Chris Matthews's Hardball. This is a significant programming move by Cesar Conde, the new chairman of NBC’s news networks. For decades now, Black women have received limited representation on air, especially in the newsroom. Though icons such as Gayle King of CBS and Robin Roberts of ABC, hold leading roles in morning and daytime television, at present, no Black women host a nightly evening show on a major network. Reid will focus on political analysis and punditry, but also plans to address race, class, and policing, The New York Times reports.



In an interview from her home earlier this week, the news anchor stated, "Evening and prime-time news has been a universe of White men really since I was growing up. For somebody who grew up as a nerdy kid obsessed with news, watching Nightline and Meet the Press, the idea of being a part of that family has always just been kind of overwhelming." She cited Gwen Ifill (who co-anchored PBS NewsHour until shortly before her death in 2016), Deborah Roberts, and Carole Simpson—all part of a small group of Black woman news anchors—as her role models. "I am a Black mom, a Black woman, a Black daughter," she said. "I am also a journalist who can conceptualize that pain from a unique point of view. Every day I’m in this job, I’m very conscious of that responsibility to make that collective voice heard. It’s unique to do that as a Black woman."



Though this is a monumental moment in nighttime news, many have criticized the move due to her homophobic comments about several gay politicians, including most recently former Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg. Homophobic posts and comments from 'The Reid Report,' a blog she had run in the mid to late 2000s, resurfaced on social media. In addition to writing mocking claims that Charlie Crist, the former Florida governor, was gay, she had argued that "most straight people cringe at the sight of two men kissing" and that "a lot of heterosexuals, especially men, find the idea of homosexual sex to be gross." She also made comments about fellow journalist Rachel Maddow. Reid initially claimed her blog had been hacked into, suggesting that the posts had been fabricated and inserted into the archives of her blog in order to defame her. Eventually, she apologized: "I genuinely do not believe I wrote those hateful things because they are completely alien to me," she said. "The person I am now is not the person I was then." The LGBTQ+ community is to this date unsure about her apology.



Maddow, however, accepted her apology. She said, "We judge people on their judgment, but also on their capacity to grow and correct. She also reached out to me personally and directly in case, as a gay colleague, I had been hurt personally by what had arisen at the time. And that was a stand-up thing to do, and something I won’t forget." The news anchor, who also hosts a nightly show on MSNBC, more recently called the promotion "a good decision by the network." "African-American journalists, African-American women in particular, are woefully underrepresented on TV in all hours of the day," she explained. "But particularly in prime time, it’s just a desert. Joy more than deserves this time slot and this kind of national platform."



Reid was born in Brooklyn to immigrant parents and grew up in Denver. She now splits her time between New York and Washington. She graduated from Harvard with a degree in film before working her way up the competitive Florida media market. There, she hosted TV and talk-radio shows while simultaneously writing a column for The Miami Herald. In 2008, she took time away from journalism to work on former President Barack Obama’s first campaign. The ReidOut will be based out of Washington and air every night on MSNBC at 7 pm. Executives at MSNBC hope that Reid will attract a younger audience. She frequently interacts with "Reiders," her fan base, via Twitter.



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