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The Disney layoffs have hit ABC News.
The broadcast news division is laying off 50 people as part of the company’s planned cuts, with ABC News president Kim Godwin reorganizing her senior leadership team. Godwin announced the changes in a note to staff Thursday morning.
“Throughout the company, teams are being impacted by the downsizing that was announced several weeks ago, including our own ABC News family. While these actions are never easy, they are a necessary step to ensure we’re on solid footing for the years ahead as we chart a sustainable, growth-oriented path forward for the entire organization,” Godwin wrote. “While this is a difficult time for all of us — particularly those directly affected by these tough decisions — it’s important to remember that together, we are resilient, and will emerge from this period of transition stronger than before.”
The new structure will see Katie den Daas become vp newsgathering; Derek Medina add oversight of talent strategy, production operations and business affairs; and Stacia Deshishku add oversight of investigative and enterprise reporting, as well as booking.
As part of the changes, a number of senior ABC News staffers are leaving the company, including senior vp newsgathering Wendy Fisher; senior vp talent Galen Gordon; vp talent Mary Noonan; vp corporate communications Alison Rudnick; senior executive producer Chris Vlasto; executive editorial producer Heather Riley; and Los Angeles bureau chief David Herndon.
The cuts are a continuation of the layoffs announced by CEO Bob Iger on Monday, with a first round taking place this week, a larger round coming in April and a third round before summer begins. The 50 job cuts at ABC News will be spread across the rounds.
In addition to ABC News, Disney also cut its TV production and acquisitions teams, shuttered the company’s nascent “metaverse” division and folded Marvel Entertainment into other parts of the company, letting go of Isaac “Ike” Perlmutter in the process.
Read Godwin’s memo, below.
Throughout the company, teams are being impacted by the downsizing that was announced several weeks ago, including our own ABC News family. While these actions are never easy, they are a necessary step to ensure we’re on solid footing for the years ahead as we chart a sustainable, growth-oriented path forward for the entire organization.
While this is a difficult time for all of us – particularly those directly affected by these tough decisions – it’s important to remember that together, we are resilient, and will emerge from this period of transition stronger than before.
To that end, I’d like to share some key changes to our structure:
- Katie den Daas, who has been leading our London bureau, will now be vice president of Newsgathering, overseeing the domestic and international teams, including bureaus worldwide, the desks, and NewsOne. Reporting into Katie will be Michael Kreisel, who will manage the domestic bureau chiefs (except for the DC bureau) and NewsOne, which will continue to be headed by Al Prieto; Jonathan Greenberger, who will lead the DC bureau and political coverage; and Kirit Radia, who will oversee the London bureau, all other international bureaus and teams worldwide. In the coming weeks, Katie will transition from London to New York, and we will name a new London bureau chief soon.
- Effective immediately, our Business and Operations team will expand to include Talent Strategy, Production Operations, Business Operations and Business Affairs. All will report to Derek Medina, EVP, ABC News.
- Our investigative and enterprise reporting units, which include Medical, Business, and Climate, will join the linear shows and Special Events, reporting to Stacia Deshishku, executive editor and SVP of News. Additionally, ABC’s extensive bookings resources will now roll up to Stacia.
Like you, I have come to trust and rely on the expertise and dedication of Katie, Derek, and Stacia, and I am grateful to count them among my senior leaders. All other reporting lines will remain the same.
In the coming days and weeks, we will share additional information about these teams and our plans.
Most importantly, I would like to acknowledge the work and legacy of our departing staff members. Not only are they our colleagues, they’re also our friends who will always be a part of the proud history of this esteemed organization. On behalf of the entire ABC News family, thank you for your service and professionalism.
We are truly privileged to work alongside so many smart, talented, and creative people. This is a team like no other – and it’s because of you that ABC News is #1.
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