Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Black TV Milestones: Max Robinson
Max Robinson. In 1978, Robinson joined ABC’s World News Tonight to become the first African-American network news anchor. Prior to joining ABC, Robinson was an award-winning journalist for his coverage of the 1968 riots after the assassination of Dr. Martin, for his coverage of antiwar demonstrations, and for his documentary about Black life in Anacostia. He hoped to bring a Black perspective to ABC, but encountered significant racism. In a Youtube.com clip, Robinson can be seen in an unscrambled satellite feed engaged in a profanity-laced tirade in response to a lack of professionalism and a lack of hard work exhibited by his co-workers. In 1983, Robinson left ABC for WMAQ-TV in Chicago. Robinson passed away in 1988, however his legacy can be seen in the accomplishments of television journalists such as Bernard Shaw (CNN-1980), Ed Bradley (CBS’ 60 Minutes-1981) and Bryant Gumbel (NBC’s The Today Show-1982), Deborah Roberts (ABC’s 20/20, World News Tonight, Good Morning America - 1995), and Gwen Ifill (PBS’ Washington Week in Review and NewsHour with Jim Lehrer- 1999).