The success of Hearst Connecticut Media Group – the state’s largest local news network – is made possible by its talented and passionate staff members who come from diverse backgrounds.
We are fortunate our team brings different viewpoints, cultures and experiences – all of which contribute to a thriving business which is proud to serve its community well with quality local journalism and many other customer and business services. HCMG’s goal is to celebrate, promote and foster diversity throughout the company and beyond, including among our employees, communities across Connecticut and the many business relationships we have.
While we have made progress in our commitments to diversity, equity and inclusion, there is still work to be done. Our goal is to be transparent and accountable about that work, while continuing to make meaningful change in this important area. As such, we are pleased to publish our second HCMG Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Overview, for the time period of July 2021 to July 2022. We believe improving diversity, equity and inclusion makes our company stronger, serves our employees and readers better and overall makes a critical contribution to the betterment of society.
As part of that accountability commitment, each year we will publish data on how our staffing is comprised regarding gender, race and ethnicity as a full group, among the newsroom and business departments and among managers and non-managers. We will also update the other important initiatives we accomplish and goals we have.
In July 2021, we set a goal of increasing the overall staff percentage of people of color by 5%, and women by 3%, by mid-2022.
As of July 2022, we maintained the existing overall staff population of women. On the business side, women in leadership positions increased by 7%, and women in overall positions went up by 2%. By the end of 2022, the overall staff percentage of women was up by 3%.
As of July 2022, the overall staff percentage of people of color was down 4%, while people of color in newsroom leadership roles went up 1%. The overall percentage fell an additional 3% by the end of 2022, while areas such as the newsroom saw an increase during this same period of 1% overall for people of color. In order to grow this important area, we have further deepened and expanded our recruitment and retention efforts.
Across HCMG, we are proud of the wide breadth of diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. Some of the highlights include the work of our newsroom, which has deepened its coverage in this area, while also seeing this work recognized for industry awards .
Notably, we commend the work of HCMG’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council – a group of more than 30 staff who are passionate and dedicated to driving positive change in areas including community outreach and events, education and hiring practices. The Council is also represented on Hearst Newspapers’ Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Steering Committee, to contribute to important discussions about evolving these important focuses throughout the company.
As an organization, HCMG will not stop here. We are staunchly committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, both inside our company and out.
This dataset is from July 2019 to July 2022. It will be updated annually.
HCMG’s Key Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Goals 2022-23 and Progress
Improve hiring and retention practices to increase women and people of color on staff
HCMG is committed to growing and retaining an overall more diverse workforce to better reflect the communities in Connecticut that we serve. In this commitment we have taken an approach to strongly encourage those applicants who are traditionally underrepresented in media to apply, specifically people of color, women, people with disabilities, those from the LGBTQ+ community and veterans.
In reviewing our 2022 staff composition, our goal is to now increase the overall staff percentage of women and people of color by 3% by mid-year 2023.
To improve hiring processes, we’re partnering with an internal recruiter to help hiring managers reach out to prospective candidates, develop a robust pipeline for roles that may open down the line and communicate more quickly and effectively with those who enter into the interview process with us. Additionally, we were pleased to promote many internal staff members into new roles, while continuing to work with all staff on career pathing and growth.
We also sent newsroom staff to help recruit prospective candidates for HCMG and Hearst Newspapers to multiple conferences this year, including AAJA and NABJ-NAHJ’s conventions. While, HCMG’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council has also long had a committee focused on improving hiring practices, with the goal of further growing the diversity of our teams.
HCMG is committed to annual merit increases tied to performance reviews, and additionally announced in December 2022 that it would be contributing an additional 2% annually to employees’ 401Ks regardless of whether the employee contributes.
Further increase representation of Connecticut’s communities in news coverage
HCMG’s steadfast commitment is echoed throughout all pillars of our network – from our advertising and marketing departments to customer service, newsrooms and other departments.
One example of where we have seen increasing change is in our journalism. We are committed to continually evolving our coverage, ensuring our stories – and our newsrooms – are more reflective of the communities we serve.
We're especially focused on expanding the stories we cover and improving the array of voices in our articles. To that end, we’re launching a diverse sources database. In addition to the work journalists at Hearst Connecticut are already doing, we’re asking the community if they’d like to nominate someone they know for our consideration to help us better inform our work. We’re also exploring source tracking and audits by department to help us identify gaps in coverage and ways to bridge them.
Additionally, our local, state topics and investigative reporters have been hard at work throughout the year exposing inequities in schools, policing and more. Here are just some examples of their recent work:
- CT students restrained, secluded thousands of times causing dozens of injuries: ‘Something is not working’
- Uneven playing field: Rich towns dominate CT high school sports amid deep inequalities
- 4 CT troopers fabricated hundreds of tickets to gain favor, perks. They avoided serious consequences.
- Lawsuit against AMR New Haven ambulance company describes ‘sexist,’ ‘boys club’ workplace culture
Our newsrooms also highlighted celebrations of culture, communities we serve, and more:
- It’s National Coming Out Day — Here are some resources for CT’s LGBTQ community
- Connecticut’s first African American history museum contains artifacts of a painful past, but also moments of hope
- Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in Connecticut with these 6 events
Engaging with the local community through events and more
Our DEI Council has placed an increasingly big focus on outreach and community events. As such, this year the group participated in a big local food drive. Our outreach and events subcommittee is planning a panel event for spring 2023, which will invite and engage local students to learn more about our industry. The Council’s work doesn’t stop there, from a speaker series to the Pride Month Celebration, and continuing to create a packed calendar for 2023 to continue this important work.
Additional opportunities for current and future staffers
The Hearst Fellowship is a two-year program focusing on multimedia journalism. It consists of two 12-month rotations at Hearst’s top newspapers and websites. The program has helped support dozens of successful journalists now working at Hearst newspapers and other top places around the country. For more information or to apply please visit: https://hearstfellowships.com/
In partnership with LifeLabs Learning, the Hearst Newspaper group has, for example, created the ENGAGE | Managers, a core management skills training program. This program will provide our current managers or up and coming managers with essential management skills that build toward a culture of coaching, feedback, and development for managers and their direct reports..
We also have the following Engage programs:
- Engage – Senior Management (Harvard Business Publishing)
- Engage – Emerging Talent
- Inclusive Interviewing
Our Reach Mentor Program is designed to support and develop our employees’ career goals. It aims to grow employees’ skills, competencies and knowledge while building a leadership pipeline through development. The program also offers an opportunity to develop and build connections across Hearst Newspapers.
Hearst 2022 Diversity and Inclusion Overview
To read about the extensive diversity, equity and inclusion efforts across Hearst, please click here for the Hearst 2022 Diversity and Inclusion Overview.
This report was compiled by Hearst Connecticut Media Group in collaboration with the organization’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council.
If you have any questions or feedback about HCMG’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, please contact us at:
Divya Johnson, Director of Client Experience and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council Leader, Hearst Connecticut Media Group | firstname.lastname@example.org
Melissa Federico, Sr. Customer Performance Manager, Hearst Connecticut Media Group, and HCMG Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council Coordinator | email@example.com
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