By:
January 28, 2021

ABC News president James Goldston announced Thursday that he will leave the network at the end of March. He has been with ABC News for 17 years and has been president for the past seven years.

In a note to staff, Goldston said, “It’s a really tough decision. 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.”

In a separate statement, Peter Rice (chairman, general entertainment content, The Walt Disney Company) said, “I am incredibly grateful to James for his leadership. This past year redefined the 24-hour news cycle, and he led the team with an unrelenting commitment to facts and in-depth, insightful reporting. Maintaining journalistic excellence and integrity amidst a pandemic upheaval, social injustice reckoning, political divide and historic election is an exceptional accomplishment and I commend James for guiding the team through it with distinction.”

Rice said he is establishing an Office of the President until a new president is appointed. It will be made up of what Rice called “James and five seasoned ABC News executives” who will oversee the network news — from business operations to breaking news to other editorial groups.

Rice wrote, “The Office of the President will be a temporary construct installed to allow me to consult with a broader group of leaders and will disband when we name a new president.”

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Tom Jones is Poynter’s senior media writer for Poynter.org. He was previously part of the Tampa Bay Times family during three stints over some 30…
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