Tiffany Smith-Anoa’i has been promoted to SVP Entertainment Diversity & Communications at CBS Entertainment. Formerly VP, Smith-Anoa’i in the her expanded role will build on the division’s initiates as well as develop new programs that recruit, nurture and hire diverse talent to work in front of and behind the camera.
The move comes after CBS chairman Nina Tassler faced tough questions last summer about the network’s lack of diversity in its new fall shows. Its only minority lead in a new series is Maggie Q, who co-stars with Dylan McDermott on drama Stalker, while other broadcast networks broadened their tents with minority-centered new fare including Fox’s sizzling-hot Empire and ABC comedies Fresh Off The Boat and Black-ish.
Since being appointed VP in 2009, Smith-Anoa’i has created and launched “CBS On Tour,” a community outreach program in which executives visit schools to educate and encourage students interested in entertainment careers; expanded the writer selection process for The CBS Diversity Sketch Comedy Showcase; implemented an annual symposium with casting directors to strategize on best practices to diversify the casting process; partnered with GLAAD to host learning workshops; and joined forces with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media to encourage roles for women in front of and behind the camera.
She will continue to report to Tassler and to EVP Communcations Chris Ender for her ongoing CBS Communications activities leading West Coast efforts on various projects and network specials, including the Grammys. She will also continue to work with Josie Thomas, EVP and Chief Diversity Officer for CBS Corp.
“Tiffany is a dedicated and energetic executive that has played a strategic role in expanding CBS’s diversity efforts both within our Entertainment Group and among the many organizations that represent diverse talent,” said Tassler. “She works diligently to promote an all-inclusive philosophy throughout the creative process while her unbridled passion and strong voice has resulted in new network diversity initiatives that have created career opportunities for diverse writers, directors and performers. We look forward to Tiffany continuing to advance the dialogue of diversity with all of our constituents.”