Recent revelations that suggest gender and race-based pay inequities at MSNBC are shaking the news organization. It’s been widely rumored that the network’s flagship primetime anchor — Joy Reid — makes less in total compensation than her daytime counterpart, Ari Melber.
Reid is an African American woman and is one of the most influential voices in progressive politics, while Melber is a white man with an hour-long run-of-the-mill daytime program. Reid also makes less than her male African American counterpart, Craig Melvin, although he anchors a daytime hour on MSNBC in addition to his role with the Today Show on NBC.
Media observers say that the network risks repetitional damage and staff departures among its left-leaning audience.
Progressive activists have been calling on MSNBC to publicly release its compensation agreements with all of its on-air talent — largely in order to expose whether or not the network has been engaging in systemic discrimination in its pay practices, the prospect of which would expose extraordinary hypocrisy given the network’s left-wing editorial perspective.
Many network employees suspect that that male anchors, on average, make more than 150% of the pay rate of their female counterparts. Chris Hayes, Joe Scarborough, and Chuck Todd are widely thought to make ‘exorbitant’ salaries, incongruent with their talent relative to the salary valuations of the network’s female and minority anchors.