ABC News President James Goldston to Exit in March

James Goldston, the president of ABC News, will leave the Walt Disney-backed unit at the end of March, the latest in a recent series of changes among top national news executives.

“It’s a really tough decision,” Goldston said in a memo to staffers. “I’ve loved every day of my 17 years at ABC News, but in recent times I’ve always assumed that after this extraordinary election cycle, which we’ve covered at a full sprint for four years, it would be time for a change.  After a great deal of reflection over the last few months, I’m ready for a new adventure.”

ABC News isn’t the industry’s largest division — CNN and NBC News are much larger — but under Goldston’s aegis, many of the network’s best-known programs have become the most-watched in the category. David Muir has risen to become the nation’s most-watched evening-news anchor at “World News Tonight,” and “Good Morning America” has become the nation’s most-watched morning-news program. Goldston has also watched over an expansion of the news division, which now oversees “The View” as well as a new afternoon hour anchored by Amy Robach. ABC News has also begun to extend into streaming-video and Hulu.

ABC News isn’t the only national newsroom in transition. At MSNBC, Rashida Jones is taking over as president at the end of the month as longtime executive Phil Griffin steps down. The Washington Post will need to fill the shows of Marty Barron, the celebrated editor who has announced his intention to retire. The Los Angeles Times and Reuters are also seeking new top editorial executives.

More to come…

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