In his nearly half a century in broadcast journalism, ABC's Sam Donaldson has seen a lot of changes in the newsroom. The biggest? The fact that the industry now mainly consists of women. "It looks like what it looked like to me 45 years ago — just a few women, lots of men — now it's lots of women, and a few men — and that's fine as far as I'm concerned," he told Yeas & Nays.
Donaldson gave a quick look at the history of women in broadcast journalism, calling out greats like Barbara Walters, Katie Couric and Cokie Roberts, at a cocktail party in McLean to support the building of a National Women's History Museum on the National Mall. He remembered the impressive male roster in his first newsroom in Washington, and how that gradually changed. "Many of these were the Murrow boys, there were no Murrow girls," Donaldson stated. "Well actually there were, but they weren't in broadcasting," he laughed.
Now, Donaldson admits, he doesn't give male journalism students the brightest picture for their futures. "I say to the young men who want to get into journalism, 'well, we've had it for 10,000 years and my generation managed to slip through, but you will pay for it and you will work 120 percent just to stay even with women who are in the business,'" he said. "And at the network level there's still a glass ceiling for presidents of the networks, but that will collapse tomorrow."
Donaldson appeared at the Make a Little History party, which also attracted Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson, R-Texas, and former Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe and was hosted by Lynne and Greg O'Brien.
"So congratulations, not only has your time come, but there's an old saying, 'it's not enough to succeed, my opponents must fail,'" Donaldson concluded.