Kim Godwin Leaves ABC News

Kim Godwin, the ABC News president who was the first Black woman to run a broadcast network news operation, is leaving the Disney unit amid increasing concern about the way she was managing the home of shows like “Good Morning America” and “World News Tonight.”

Godwin told staffers in a memo Sunday that she planned to “retire from broadcast journalism.” Her command had come under increasing scrutiny since a restructuring of ABC News and Disney’s ABC stations had her reporting directly to Debra OConnell, a Disney business veteran who is seen as a valued operator at the company. OConnell will lead ABC News for the foreseeable future, she told employees Sunday evening.

A Disney spokesperson declined to make executives available for additional comment or to respond to a query about what changes Godwin’s exit might mean for the executive’s immediate direct reports or the management of individual ABC News programs. Godwin’s immediate team includes Stacia Philips Deshishku, ABC News’ executive editor; Derek Medina, an executive vice president who oversees business affairs; and Jose Andino, a vice president who was tasked with organizing specific goals from an “Office of the President.”

People familiar with ABC News think OConnell will ultimately need a new executive to run the organization on a day to day basis. Among those who could be viewed as internal candidates are Chad Matthews, who currently oversees ABC’s stations under OConnell; Tom Cibrowski, a former top producer at ABC News who is now general manager of ABC’s San Francisco station KGO; and Simone Swink, the executive producer of “Good Morning America,” who is well-regarded by staffers and who has helped the program make strides on the West Coast.

Godwin, in her memo, praised her career achievements. “After matriculating through j-school at my beloved Florida A&M University, I have been fortunate and blessed enough to have done almost every job there is in this business, including anchor, investigative reporter, news director, field producer, network/special events executive producer and more before moving on to the executive ranks,:” Godwin said in a note on Sunday. “Anyone who’s passionate about what we do knows there’s no other business like it, so this was not an easy or quick decision. But after considerable reflection, I’m certain it’s the right one for me as I look to the future and prioritize what’s most important for me and my family.”

(Excerpt) Read more in: Variety


Kim Godwin Leaves ABC News

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