CBS Television creates diversity institute

LOS ANGELES: As part of CBS' ongoing commitment to diversity, the broadcaster's chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves has announced the formation of the CBS diversity institute.

Through this, the broadcaster has added two additional comprehensive network programmes designed to identify and develop diversity within the writing and directing community. The CBS Diversity Institute combines three programmes which are the CBS Writers Mentoring Programme, the new CBS Directing Initiative and the ongoing Minority Talent Showcases. In India, its shows The Guardian and Early Edition air on Hallmark.

Moonves has been quoted in an official release saying, "The establishment of the diversity institute is an important step forward in CBS' ongoing effort to develop talent as diverse as our audience. At CBS, we believe diversity is good business. Expanding and institutionalising our programmes to identify and nurture diverse talent, in front of and behind the camera, has meaningful benefits for the artists, for our programming and for all our key constituents."

The release informs that the purpose of the institute is to empower emerging minority writers through education and access that will enable them to develop the networking skills and relationships necessary to achieve success. This includes regular, ongoing opportunities to meet and interact with Network show-runners, executives and agents; a one-on-one relationship with a Network executive who will mentor the participant through the programme. Personal support will be provided in developing and following through a rigorous "action plan," and the development and growth of a close-knit peer support group.

The CBS directing initiative is designed to facilitate direct, professional, on-set interaction and enhanced networking opportunities for aspiring minority directors. The programme will match participants who show promise with directors of CBS Television Network drama and comedy series. The goal is to bridge the gap for those talented directors trying to break into network television. Individual series directors will mentor candidates during the process of prep, production and post-production.

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