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‘This Week’ Taps New EP

After a long vacancy, ABC News announced this morning that Katherine O’Hearn, the EP of CNBC’s soon-to-be-defunct “Topic A with Tina Brown,” will be the new executive producer of the D.C.-based “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” She’ll start May 31st, two days after Topic A’s swan song.

She fills the post left vacant by Tom Bettag’s return to Nightline following the departure of Leroy Sievers–the job, which includes overseeing production and editorial content for the Sunday show, has been done recently by Richard Harris and long-time TWer Virginia Moseley.

TVWeek (paid reg. req.) had the rumors this morning, but the phrasing that O’Hearn was there to “fix” the show raised some hackles.

“The show is good the way it is — don’t expect many changes if any. She’s not here to fix the show,” an ABC News source said this morning. “The program is strong and in a tight battle for second place. Kathy is joining the team to keep the show moving in that direction.”

Last week, “This Week” beat CBS’ “Face the Nation” in 7 of the top 10 markets, as the CBS show had its worst week since August 2004 and ABC closed the gap from a year before by 72 percent. Stay tuned later today for yesterday’s overnights.

O’Hearn’s an old ABC hand, having spent 17 years, from 1983 to 2000, rising from the D.C. bureau’s assignment editor to the executive producer of the weekend World News Tonight.

Full release, resume, and obligatory nice quotes after the jump.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 23, 2005

ABC NEWS NAMES KATHERINE O’HEARN EXECUTIVE PRODUCER OF
“THIS WEEK WITH GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS”

Katherine O’Hearn has been named executive producer of ABC News This Week with George Stephanopoulos, ABC News President David Westin announced today. Ms. O’Hearn will oversee production and editorial content of the Sunday morning public affairs show.

“Kathy is a creative and accomplished television news producer who has done everything from operating a camera in the field to creating, launching, and producing major news programs,” said Mr. Westin. “We’re delighted that she will bring her leadership and her enthusiasm back to ABC News in this very important position.”

Said This Week anchor George Stephanopoulos, “With Kathy’s talent and innovation, I’m confident we will take the show to the next level.”

O’Hearn returns to ABC News from CNBC, where in 2003 she created and has since executive produced the talk show Topic A with Tina Brown. She is also credited with creating, launching, and producing CNN’s morning show, American Morning in 2001 and 2002. Upon joining CNN in 2000, O’Hearn oversaw the cable network’s morning coverage in the aftermath of 9/11. Earlier, she was executive vice president of CNN Business News and CNNfn for which she was responsible for the production and development of CNN Business News and its flagship program, Moneyline.

O’Hearn first joined ABC in 1983 as an assignment editor in the Washington bureau, and culminated her 17 years there as the executive producer of World News Tonight Saturday/Sunday from 1996 to 2000. During this period she was also responsible for re-launching Good Morning America Sunday and serving as the show’s executive producer. Earlier posts at ABC News included that of Los Angeles bureau chief, where she oversaw news coverage of the western United States, including such events as the Rodney King trial, the LA Riots, the Malibu fires and Northridge Earthquake, as well as the O.J. Simpson Trial.

Ms. O’Hearn began her career in broadcasting in 1976 at CBS News, where she was an assignment editor for the Washington bureau. She also worked as a cameraperson from 1979-1982, covering major events around the world during the Carter and Reagan administrations.

Her work over the years has earned her several awards including five Emmys, three Edward R. Murrow awards, a 2000 National Headliner Award for Best Newscast, an Overseas Press Club Award in 1999, and a Peabody Award in 1999.

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