Dave Davis leaving ABC News

Departure comes amid staff cuts, buyouts

ABC News' No. 2, J. David "Dave" Davis, is leaving his position to go back to his old job as president and GM of ABC's O&O in New York, WABC-TV.

No successor will be named for Davis at ABC News, where he was executive vp and second-in-command to longtime ABC News president David Westin. Davis' job was new when it was created during a news division reorganization in 2007, encompassing all of the news division's executive producers and some other senior staff. All of Davis' direct reports now report to Westin.

Davis leaves ABC News at a time of upheaval, with several hundred staff members either laid off or taking buyouts in a reorganization. In a letter to employees Friday, Westin praised Davis' "superb news judgment" and the fact that he led coverage of news and special events like the 2008 presidential election, the war in Afghanistan and the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Davis returns to WABC, where he was president/GM from 2003-07. Davis was replaced at the time by Rebecca Campbell, who was promoted in May to president of ABC's O&Os. The deal was finalized Friday, and told to WABC employees in the late morning during a meeting in the "Live! With Regis & Kelly" studios on Columbus Avenue. Davis, who has extensive experience in local TV news and operations, is also responsible for "Live!" and local digital properties.
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