Jose Diaz-Balart might be history’s first Cuban-American journalist and television anchorman to host a network news program after he became an anchor for the CBS News program This Morning. But this Latino had had hard time keeping his show “The Rundown with Jose Diaz-Balart” running in MSNBC.
On the wake of the rumor regarding the cancelation of his popular show on the network, several Latino activists and supporters of the host sent a warning message to MSNBC at the end of the September this year. They also delivered by hand more than 7,000 signatures to show their open support for Balart. Balart is the only anchorman in the network belonging to the Latino community.
Balart, who is a voice of the Hispanic community, has been well known for his work promoting the Latino community and covering the issue of immigration reform. But despite all his work and contribution to the network, it was reported by a few media outlets that the network was about to cut an hour off of his show on weekday mornings in order to expand "Morning Joe."
After the news came out, the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA) wrote an open letter to MSNBC executives Andrew Lack and Phil Griffin, protesting MSNBC’s decision to cut an hour from Diaz’s show.
The chairman of NHLA, Felix Sanchez, as a leader of the activists forwarded the private letter to the network and asked MSNBC to "increase Latino representation on MSNBC." Sanchez even warned the network that they would be taking on a strong step forward if the reports about the cancelation turned out to be true.
Besides NHLA, America's Voice Education Fund also collected nearly 8,000 signatures through Moveon.org and AV.org, which were later delivered by the activists to MSNBC’s office in New York City.
"José Díaz-Balart built his career at Telemundo and has strong ties to the immigrant and latino communities, but now MSNBC may be ending his show just so that they can give an extra hour to "Morning Joe," the petition said.
"Every morning, José Díaz-Balart reports the facts about immigrant contributions in the United States," the petition continued. "He's a critical voice for millions of immigrant families across the country."
"As a journalist, it has been José Díaz-Balart who has spoken to President Obama about his executive actions, challenged Donald Trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric, and has consistently spoken to DREAMers about their advocacy efforts."
"MSNBC cannot have it both way -- they cannot claim to be a reliable cable news network, while silencing journalists like José Díaz-Balart."
Cesar Vargas, Co-Founder of Dream Action Coalition even released a press statement voicing their support for the journalist.
It read: "Jose Diaz-Balart is an important voice for the Latino community across the country and MSNBC should honor this significance by not only keeping him on the show, but by ensuring other voices are brought in to speak to a diverse community."
All the supports that Diaz has received from his fellow Latino brothers and sisters are really encouraging and if MSNBC has actually decided to take such an unfair decision then we’re sure that it will be reversed pretty soon. We hope that Diaz is happy after finding out that he had so many supporting hands behind him.
The Cuban-American journalist is married to his wife with two children. Being the only Latino host in the network, he receives a handsome salary for his job and has a net worth of around $5 million.