Talk about big shoes to fill. ABC News today announced that James Goldston, a former BBC producer, will take over from departing “Nightline” Executive Producer Tom Bettag at the end of the year.
The selection of a storied producer from the British mold perhaps more than any other move we’ve seen so far signals ABC’s intention to keep “Nightline” as a hard news show.
“James is a talented and experienced producer with deep roots in daily and documentary news. His admiration and respect for Nightline’s rich history and tradition coupled with his strong journalistic background makes James the ideal producer to lead Nightline into the future,” ABC News head David Westin said.
Goldston, who from 2002 to 2004 was EP of ITV1′s “Tonight with Trevor McDonald“–Britain’s leading current affairs show–before joining ABC last year, said: “I am delighted and honored to be joining the Nightline team. It is a show with a rich and vibrant heritage, and I’m very much looking forward to working with everyone at ‘Nightline’ to maintain and enhance its reputation in the year’s ahead.”
While Goldston has a distinguished career at ITV1 and BBC, he’s probably best known to American audiences as the EP behind “Living with Michael Jackson,” Martin Bashir‘s infamous documentary about the singer.
Most recently, Goldston has been ABC’s senior producer of primetime specials and investigative reports.
Full release after the jump.
> The New York Observer has more: “Goldston’s top competition for the post was Sara Just, the current second-in-command at Nightline, who was said to be the preferred candidate among the showâ€™s tight-knit staff. Just traveled to New York for a meeting this morning with ABC brass. ABC plans for her to continue to work as managing senior producer of the show at least through the December transition, an ABC source said.”
ABC NEWS NAMES JAMES GOLDSTON EXECUTIVE PRODUCER OF “NIGHTLINE”
James Goldston has been named executive producer of ABC News Nightline, ABC News President David Westin announced today. Mr. Goldston will oversee production and editorial content of the program and assume management of “Nightline’s” Washington, D.C.- and New York City-based offices, following current executive producer Tom Bettag’s departure at the end of the year.
“James is a talented and experienced producer with deep roots in daily and documentary news. His admiration and respect for Nightline’s rich history and tradition coupled with his strong journalistic background makes James the ideal producer to lead Nightline into the future,” said Mr. Westin.
“I am delighted and honored to be joining the Nightline team. It is a show with a rich and vibrant heritage, and I’m very much looking forward to working with everyone at ‘Nightline’ to maintain and enhance its reputation in the year’s ahead,” said James Goldston.
Prior to joining ABC News in 2004, Mr. Goldston was the executive producer of Britain’s most watched current affairs program, ITV1′s “Tonight with Trevor McDonald” from 2002 – 2004. There, he produced a series of celebrated documentaries, including “Millionaire – A Major Fraud,” Britain’s most watched documentary for nearly 10 years; Shock and Awe – “Tonight’s” award-winning coverage of the Iraq War anchored from Kuwait and Baghdad,” and “Living with Michael Jackson.” From 1999 – 2001, he was a senior producer of several award-winning interviews and investigations for “Tonight.”
The Royal Television Society has awarded Mr. Goldston and “Tonight” the prestigious Program of the Year award three times in five years.
Mr. Goldston was a producer for several BBC News programs, including “Newsnight,” the network’s nightly news analysis show and a “Nightline” descendant. There he was responsible for daily coverage of several international stories, including the Kosovo War, the Good Friday peace agreement, and President Clinton’s impeachment. He has produced for the BBC’s flagship current affairs program, “Panorama” and “The Money Program.”
Mr. Goldston joined ABC News last year as a senior producer of primetime specials and investigative reports, including ABC’s world exclusive investigation into Victor Conte, the figure at the center of the Balco steroids sports scandal.
Mr. Goldston is a graduate of Jesus College, Oxford University.