ABC Information appoints Kim Godwin as president, making historical past

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Kim Godwin has been named president of ABC Information, making her the primary Black girl to run a broadcast TV information division.

Godwin, whose appointment was made official Wednesday by ABC guardian Walt Disney Co., is exiting CBS Information the place govt adjustments are additionally underway.

CBS Information President Susan Zirinsky confirmed to her employees that she shall be leaving her submit for a brand new function producing nonfiction programming at ViacomCBS, in response to folks accustomed to the discussions who weren’t approved to remark.

A consultant for CBS Information had no touch upon Zirinsky’s anticipated departure. The information veteran made it clear to employees that she is remaining with the corporate and can oversee a transition on the information division she first took over in Jan. 2019, in response to an individual who attended the assembly who was not approved to debate it publicly. No timetable was given for naming her successor.

Godwin, who was an govt vp at CBS Information, is becoming a member of ABC Information at a time when it has the main packages within the morning with “Good Morning America,” and evenings with “ABC World Information Tonight With David Muir.” However the division was rocked by a report within the Huffington Submit final yr through which certainly one of its high executives, Barbara Fedida, had made racist and demeaning feedback about among the expertise on the community.

Fedida departed ABC after an inside investigation. Six months later, James Goldston stepped down as ABC Information president, a submit he held since 2014.

Godwin, who joined CBS Information in 2007 after holding a variety of positions in native TV information, was identified for championing range efforts on the division.

“Kim is an instinctive and admired govt whose distinctive experiences, strengths and strategic imaginative and prescient made her the best alternative to guide the excellent workforce at ABC Information and construct on their unbelievable success,” Peter Rice, chairman of Disney basic leisure content material, stated in an announcement. “All through Kim’s profession in world information organizations and native newsrooms, she has distinguished herself as a fierce advocate for excellence, collaboration, inclusion and the very important function of correct and clear information reporting.”

CBS News President Susan Zirinsky smiling in 2019

Susan Zirinsky shall be stepping down as president of CBS Information, reportedly to supply nonfiction programming at ViacomCBS.

(Shannon Finney / Getty Photos)

“I’ve immense respect and admiration for ABC Information,” Godwin stated in an announcement. “As essentially the most trusted model in information, they’re to be recommended for the extraordinary work and dedication of the journalists, producers, executives and their groups throughout the group. I’m honored to tackle this stewardship and excited for what we are going to obtain collectively.”

Godwin was mentioned as a doable successor to Zirinsky when ViacomCBS first launched into an govt seek for her successor final yr. George Cheeks, president and chief govt of the CBS Leisure Group, congratulated her in an inside memo to employees.

“For some time now, Kim and I’ve been in an ongoing dialogue about her future, together with new alternatives, at CBS,” Cheeks stated within the memo. “I do know first-hand the love and fervour she has for CBS Information. On the similar time, she was offered with a possibility she merely couldn’t go up.”

Steve Capus, a veteran information govt who labored with Godwin on the “CBS Night Information,” praised ABC’s new rent.

“She goes to be nice on this function,” Capus stated. “She’s acquired the correct of temperament and ability set that may result in success. In a enterprise identified for screaming maniacs, she is the precise reverse. Regular, decisive and a pure born chief and mentor. She is aware of how one can deal with huge identify expertise and is aware of how one can get the perfect out of individuals.”

In the meantime, the community Godwin is forsaking faces extra upheaval within the govt suite.

Zirinsky made historical past at CBS Information when she grew to become its first girl president, though she was reluctant to take the job as she has all the time been most comfy calling the pictures in a darkish TV management room as producer.

Her appointment got here at a time when the division was reeling from the firings of “CBS This Morning” anchor Charlie Rose, over sexual harassment accusations, and longtime “60 Minutes” govt producer Jeff Fager, who confronted allegations of inappropriate office habits.

Zirinsky’s ardour and dedication for CBS Information, the place she has labored since 1972, offered a morale increase, particularly amongst veterans throughout the division. She rebuilt “CBS This Morning,” making Gayle King the central co-host of this system, and put in Norah O’Donnell as anchor of the “CBS Night Information.” Each packages path ABC and NBC within the Nielsen scores however have improved their aggressive positions.

However insiders on the community stated Zirinsky was by no means pleased with the managerial features of the roles, which included vital employees cuts carried out final yr. She additionally needed to deal with the challenges of preserving the information division going amid the COVID-19 pandemic. CBS Information was hit early and onerous by an outbreak at its Manhattan studios and places of work early final yr.

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