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Posts Tagged ‘David Westin’

Spotted at CNN: Former ABC Prez Westin

Spotted in the CNN building in New York just moments ago: Former ABC news President David Westin.

Westin is the President and CEO of NewsRight. He worked at ABC from 1997 to 2010. His book, Exit Interview, about his experiences working at ABC, is expected to be released on May 22.

Correction: Looks like our tipster was hallucinating yesterday when seeing Westin in the CNN lobby. According to Westin’s office,  he was there on Thursday, May 10 taping “Reliable Sources” with Howard Kurtz. But yesterday, a spokeswoman says he left his office once to go for lunch with a NewsRight board member and it was not at CNN or the Time Warner building.

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AP Reports: Top Producer of ‘This Week’ Calls it Quits

From the NEW YORK (AP) -

“The top producer of ABC’s “This Week” with Christiane Amanpour is quitting.
Ian Cameron says the weekend work has been tough on his family and he wants more regular hours. Cameron is married to Susan Rice, the nation’s ambassador to the United Nations, and he’s leaving ABC News altogether after 13 years in Washington. “This Week” has struggled in the ratings since Amanpour took over this summer as an unconventional choice for the Washington
insiders show. ABC News President David Westin said Friday that Cameron had done an “outstanding” job in leading “This Week,” first with George Stephanopoulos and now with Amanpour. James Goldston, the New York-based executive producer of
“Nightline,” will take over responsibility for “This Week,” as well.”

Jon Karl Named Senior Political Correspondent for ABC News

David Westin announced today that Jonathan Karl has been named Senior Political Correspondent for ABC News.  Westin’s memo announcing the promotion below:

“ From: Westin, David
Sent: Monday, September 20, 2010 1:00 PM
Cc: Sweeney, Anne
Subject: Jonathan Karl

With the mid-term elections upon us, I am pleased to announce that Jon Karl has been named Senior Political Correspondent. In addition to covering Capitol Hill, Jon will report on the national political landscape for all our broadcasts and platforms. Jon’s institutional knowledge of Congress has distinguished our reporting from the Hill. He brings that same depth of knowledge and tenacity to national politics.  In a business with so much inflamed rhetoric, Jon’s intelligent and even-handed reporting cuts through the noise and provides our audience a deeper understanding of the issues at hand.

 Please join me in congratulating Jon.”

Exec Dir. of Communications Leaves ABC News


Emily Lenzner, the D.C.-based Executive Director of Communications for ABC News, has left her post. She’s joining Anita Dunn and Hilary Rosen at SKDKnickerbocker as the firm’s managing director. She had been with ABC for more than six years.

Her last day was Friday.

Lenzner’s exit comes on the heels of ABC News President David Westin who recently resigned.

Her public relations experience includes working in NPR’s communications division as well as for George Stephanopoulos when he hosted “This Week.” She filled in as Stephanopoulos’ editorial producer for eight months in 2007 and 2008 before returning to her role in ABC’s media relations department.

From 1995 to 1997, Lenzner was associate producer for the News at Noon at KIRO TV in Seattle. She founded the International Organization for Adolescents (, an NGO committed to the health and well-being of adolescents globally with a focus on stopping adolescent trafficking. She graduated from Vassar with a B.A. in English.

Potomac Flacks has an entertaining Q & A with Lenzner from June 2008. First job post college: On WaPo‘s photo desk. First job ever: Scooping ice cream on Nantucket. Age 14.

See a comment from SKDKnickerbocker’s Josh Isay in a release after the jump…

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Westin on the Future of Media (Back in July)

david_abc.jpg This is what ABC News President David Westin had to say about the future of media back in July.

From the C-SPAN Video Library, this is Westin at the Chautauqua Institution candidly discussing, among other topics, leadership qualities in journalists and his experiences leading a news organization. Time‘s Editor-at-Large Nancy Gibbs conducted the interview. He also braved questions from the audience, who were polite and relatively tame.

On leadership: “I think you could be too smart for some of these jobs.” …One of the enemies of good leadership is distraction. …Sometimes people who are too smart are thinking of too many things at once.”

Later…”If we do not give our audience something that is not of value, we are out of business,” Westin said, answering tough questions on having to run stories that may upset advertisers. Still, later in the audience Q&A: “In order to be an effective leader you have to know when to disclose things. You need to have secrets.”

Westin has stepped down from ABC. He sent a note by e-mail to ABC staff Monday.

Watch the video here.

ABC’s Westin Delivers the News to Staff…

As first reported by NYT and by Politico earlier this evening, ABC News President David Westin is stepping down.

Westin said there are other things he wants to do professionally — “things that I cannot explore while fulfilling my responsibilities here.”

Read Westin’s full “Dear Colleague” announcement letter to staff after the jump…

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‘This Has Been a Difficult Time’: ABC’s Westin Discusses More Layoffs

ABC’s David Westin in an internal memo:

As you know, our original timetable for making a wide range of personnel changes called for us to be at or near completion by the end of this week. We have reached that point, and I thought it time to give you an update.

Many more people elected to take the voluntary package or a buy-out of their contract than we anticipated when we began the process. Unfortunately, however, there were a few of our colleagues that we still had to lay off earlier this week. This has been a difficult time for everyone – and most especially for those who are leaving us. We wish them well and thank them for their service.

Now it is time to look forward. We have much yet to do as we move to make full use of what new technology makes possible and we implement fully the structural and organizational changes that we’ve begun throughout the division. The full extent of these changes will be realized over the summer and into the fall.

Thank you to all who have made it possible to do what we’ve had to do and – most important – have continued to report the news in keeping with the highest traditions of ABC News. ABC News is now prepared for the future – prepared first and foremost editorially and creatively but also prepared economically and technically. From this base, we are positioned to grow and to do even greater work than we have in the past.

The Most Powerful People in TV News

Roger Ailes 2010.jpg

TVWeek has released their “10 Most Powerful in TV News” list today. Who else but Fox News President Roger Ailes (who has long been called the “most powerful name” in news) tops the list. For as much as cable and national news channels squabble amongst themselves, all vying to be on top, they’ve all landed somewhere on this list.

Some numbers have more than one correspondent underneath. For instance, number 10 is soon-to-be ABC “This Week” host Christiane Amanpour and CNN’s Candy Crowley.


2. Steve Capus, NBC News; Phil Griffin, president, MSNBC
3. Jom Klein, president, CNN/U.S.
4. Sean McManus, president, CBS
5. Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart
6. David Westin, ABC News
7. FNC’s Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck
8. Barbara Walters and the Women of “The View”

Read the full story here.

CNN’s Amanpour says YES to ABC

CNN_ChristianeAmanpour.jpg This just in…

CNN’s Christiane Amanpour will be the new host of ABC’s “This Week”.

From ABC’s David Westin:
I am delighted to announce that Christiane Amanpour will join ABC News as the new anchor of “This Week.” A highly respected journalist recognized around the world for her reporting, she brings to her new position a wealth of experience and knowledge, as well as a deep commitment to bringing news of the world to the American people. She will also appear on all other ABC News programs and platforms to provide international analysis of the important issues of the day. And, she will be anchoring primetime documentaries on international subjects.

Christiane will join us from CNN where, for two decades she has reported from the worldÂ’s major conflicts, including those in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Rwanda, and the Balkans. She has received every major broadcast journalism award. A formidable interviewer, she has sat down in global exclusives with many of the worldÂ’s leaders and military chiefs from the Middle East, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan to Africa, Europe and the United States.

More than once over the years we’ve talked with Christiane about her joining us in one position or another. Until now, it wasn’t the right time or the right fit. We are fortunate that this time it worked for Christiane and for us.

With Christiane we have the opportunity to provide our audiences with something different on Sunday mornings. We will continue to provide the best in interviews and analysis about domestic politics and policies. But now we will add to that an international perspective. All of us know how much the international and the domestic have come to affect one another – whether it’s global conflict, terrorism, humanitarian crises, or the economy. And our international reporting has long been a hallmark of ABC News, part of the legacy Peter Jennings left for us. Christiane will bring the international and the domestic together, in the interviews she does and in the roundtable over which she presides. Our audience has come to us for years to see differing points of views expressed in intelligent and compelling ways; now the different points of view will be expanded beyond partisan politics alone.

Christiane will be joining ABC News in August. Until then, Jake Tapper has agreed to become the regular, interim anchor of “This Week.” Ian Cameron will continue as executive producer. All of us owe a debt of gratitude to him and to Jake, Terry Moran, Jonathan Karl, Barbara Walters, Elizabeth Vargas, and Matthew Dowd for taking up the reins of the program during this transition. Thanks to their hard work and dedication we’ve maintained the high standards set by George Stephanopoulos before he left the program for “Good Morning America.”

Please join me in welcoming Christiane to ABC News.

CNN’s Amanpour Tells Colleagues: I’ve Been Offered ABC Job

aman.jpg CNN’s Christiane Amanpour is telling her CNN colleagues that ABC News has offered her the job of “This Week” host and she is telling people that she might take it. As of this moment she is declaring a 50-50 chance that she’s going to accept the offer.

Amanpour said she wants to make “This Week” more about foreign affairs and less focused on domestic American politics. If she takes the job, her desire is to do a number of shows each year outside the country. If she takes the post, sources say this would be a complete remaking on the show, a program much more focused on international affairs. What’s more, Amanpour is telling colleagues that she does not wish to move to Washington, D.C., that she’d prefer to remain in New York and travel for the job should she decide to take it.

Amanpour is currently host of “Amanpour,” which airs on Sunday afternoons.

ABC spokeswoman Emily Lenzner said: “A lot has been written and said about ‘This Week’. We will announce something when we have something to announce.”

A CNN spokesperson declined to comment. If either network provides further information later today we’ll be sure to print it. Stay tuned…