No Proof CNN Wanted to Replace Anchor with Minority

November 28, 2007 ( - Members of a federal jury in Atlanta said in post-trial interviews that they found virtually no evidence that former anchor Marina Kolbe had been let go as a roaming anchor for CNN International in 2003 and subsequently rejected as a freelancer because CNN wanted to replace her with a younger or minority anchor.

Jurors told the Fulton County Daily Report that memos between network executives outlining an aggressive push by CNN to place minorities in designated jobs were troubling, but were not enough to prove that CNN had discriminated specifically against Kolbe, who is white, and was 42 at the time CNN declined to renew her contract.

The jurors also said they were not convinced that the hiring of six anchors of South Asian origin in order to tailor international broadcasts to a South Asian audience influenced the network’s decision not to renew Kolbe’s contract, the news report said.

However, jury forewoman Kathy Fuller told the newspaper, “We think she [Kolbe] was treated badly. … There was no question they [CNN] did her wrong.”

CNN spokesman Nigel Pritchard told the Daily Report, “We are obviously pleased with the jury’s verdict. It not only shows that CNN does not discriminate, but also validates CNN’s commitment to diversity.”