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Westin Announces Leadership Rearrange at ABC News

westin_8-26.jpgABC News President David Westin sent a memo to staff, obtained by TVNewser, earlier today outlining the new/altered management responsibilities for leadership at the network. While most of the changes add responsibilities for various senior staffers, some are shifting their roles, including “Nightline” EP James Goldston who will now oversee “This Week with Christiane Amanpour” as well.

The announcements are a part of the restructuring of the news division that Westin began instituting earlier this year. Most of today’s changes stem from the departure of Dave Davis, who had a number of people reporting to him.

The biggest surprise might be that Goldston, who EPs the successful “Nightline” from New York, will now also oversee the Sunday program “This Week,” which is based in D.C., with EP Ian Cameron reporting to him.

With Davis’ departure, Westin appears to be getting more closely involved with the big NYC shows, telling the EPs of “World News,” “GMA,” “20/20,” and “Nightline” that they’ll be reporting directly to him.

And as longtime ABCer Phyllis McGrady shifts to a consultant role, David Sloan, EP of newsmagazines, will take responsibility of all long-form programming, though Goldston will oversee primetime programming featuring Amanpour whose arrangement with the network includes “primetime documentaries on international subjects.”

In addition, “World News” EP Jon Banner will now oversee the political and special events units. Special events EP Marc Burstein will now report to Banner.

The full memo with more specifics after the jump…


From: Westin, David L.
Sent: Thursday, August 26, 2010
Subject: Management Responsibilities.

With the departure of Dave Davis and the change in Phyllis’ role after the first of the year, I’ve assigned other senior leaders of ABC News to take on additional management responsibilities. The goal is to streamline how things get decided and done, to make sure those making the decisions are those who will be implementing them, and to give some of our leaders an opportunity to develop and demonstrate their capacity to do more. I also want to expand our efforts to grow our business by seeking out and reviewing proposed partnerships and other deals internationally, in digital, and overall.

Here’s how we’ll divide things up going forward:

• The executive producers for World News, Good Morning America, 20/20, and Nightline will report directly to me, as will the heads of newsgathering and our digital operation. Also reporting to me will be finance, standards, marketing/promotion, talent development, business affairs, and communications. And, I will remain directly involved with Eric Avram on major bookings for the division.

• Jon Banner will add special events and politics to his responsibilities on World News. Marc Burstein and the political unit will report to Jon.

• Kate O’Brian will assume responsibility for all of the units (except politics) and will be responsible for the part of affiliate relations that she doesn’t already have through NewsOne. Eric Avram and Tracy DePascale will report to Kate.

• Jon Banner, Kate O’Brian, and Paul Slavin will work together to develop new business, with Kate paying particular attention to international and Paul to digital.

• James Goldston will assume responsibility for This Week with Christiane Amanpour. Ian Cameron will report to James. James will also oversee Christiane’s primetime hours.

• David Sloan will work with Phyllis during her transition and ultimately assume responsibility for all of our long-form programming (except for the Christiane hours done under James). These long-form responsibilities will include production done for cable and other outlets. David will work with Phyllis in dealing with our colleagues in Entertainment on scheduling issues.

• Both David Sloan and James Goldston will work with Phyllis to develop new programming.

• Jim Murphy will add the overnight and early morning news broadcasts to his responsibilities for Good Morning America.

• Bob Murphy will assume responsibility for operations in the plant (as opposed to in the field). Renu Thomas will report to him. Chris Myers will continue to report to Kate O’Brian and be responsible for field operations.

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