ABC News President Abruptly Departs

'Embattled' Kim Godwin was a controversial figure in the newsroom
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 6, 2024 1:30 AM CDT
ABC News President Abruptly Departs
In this Wednesday, May 10, 2017, file photo, the ABC logo is seen at their television studio on the West Side of Manhattan, in New York.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

ABC News President Kim Godwin is out, after three years in the role. In an email to staff Sunday night, Godwin, whose time as president of the network's news division included Whoopi Goldberg's suspension from The View and the Amy Robach-TJ Holmes affair, said she'd decided to retire from broadcast journalism, the Wall Street Journal reports. CNN describes her time as president as a "tumultuous run," and the Journal notes Godwin was a "polarizing figure" in the newsroom. According to sources, employees had reportedly complained about her management approach and lack of day-to-day involvement in the running of the newsroom, her lack of a strategic vision, and staffing decisions.

The Journal notes that in February, a corporate restructuring installed Debra OConnell, president of parent company Disney's news group, as Godwin's new boss; the move was seen as a "demotion" for Godwin and "effectively stripped away much of her management autonomy," the newspaper says. While some employees reportedly criticized what they saw as an "inner circle" of staffers, appointed by Godwin, that made others feel "alienated" (per CNN), others say she fostered a more welcoming newsroom environment and that she, as the first Black person to run a major broadcast network news division, was more highly scrutinized than others in similar positions. Her successor is not clear. (More ABC News stories.)

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