Television Executives Disagree on Whether Covering Trump Is "Exciting"

James Goldston and Isaac Lee - Split - Getty - H 2018
Left, Phillip Chin, right, Imeh Akpanudosen, both Getty Images

ABC News President James Goldston said that covering the administration is "incredibly exciting," but Univision executive Isaac Lee disagreed.

There's no question that covering the fast-moving administration of President Donald Trump is challenging and exhausting, but some television executives disagree on whether it's exciting or not.

"It's incredibly invigorating," ABC News President James Goldston said at an industry conference Thursday. "Almost every single day, the things we talk about at 9 a.m. bear no resemblance to what we're actually talking about at 3 p.m."

Goldston summed it up: "It's incredibly exciting." He added, "There's a global fascination with this man. There's a global fascination with this moment."

But Isaac Lee, chief content officer for Univision Communications and Grupo Televisa, took a different position. "I don't find it exciting," he said. "I find it very depressing. Stimulating, yes, and we're working very hard on it."

CBS News executive vp Ingrid Ciprian-Matthews, who joined Lee and Goldston for a panel discussion during the Financial Times Future of News summit, said her network has covered the administration with the same standards and practices it has always applied.

"Our standards don't change because the story changes," she said.

During the discussion, Goldston also addressed the four-week-long suspension handed out to investigative reporter Brian Ross after he made a "serious error" in writing about former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

"We made a mistake," Goldston said. "We made an error. We treated it in a serious way, and we dealt with it in a serious way. And I think our audience will accept that from us."

He said, though, that the ABC News audience would not accept an effort to run or hide from a mistake.