'The View' Moving to ABC News' Nonfiction Programming Group
Can James Goldston, Tom Cibrowski and company help the ABC show's lackluster ratings?
The View has joined ABC News' nonfiction programming group after 17 seasons under the oversight of ABC Daytime's executives. New ABC News head James Goldston, who will now oversee The View, announced the move in a staff memo sent out on Thursday morning.
Goldston is largely responsible for Good Morning America's transformation to a multi-anchor ensemble, which helped the ABC morning show end NBC rival Today's 16-year morning-news ratings winning streak. He's also responsible for remaking Nightline into a multi-anchor, multi-topic program in the wake of Ted Koppel's retirement.
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Although The View's 18th season premiere was its most-watched season opener in eight years, the show's ratings have since fallen to below last year's viewership.
While the show recently averaged a competitive 2.8 million viewers and a 1.0 rating in women 25-to-54, its showing in the key demo is pacing downward for the fourth straight season and is 30 percent south of where it was five years ago. The View also now only has a small advantage over rival CBS daytime show The Talk.
Former GMA senior executive producer Tom Cibrowski, who was recently promoted to senior vp, ABC News programs, news gathering and special events, will also work closely with The View's on-air and behind-the-scenes team, including new executive producer Bill Wolff, alongside senior vp talent and business Barbara Fedida and 20/20 senior executive producer David Sloan.
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"Tom, Barbara and David have helped take our shows to the next level and worked on a wide range of diverse news and nonfiction programming. Now they’ll help guide The View in its exciting next chapter," Goldston wrote.
The move will allow The View, which has already seemed to take on a newsier approach under former Maddow Show executive producer Wolff, devoting hot topics segments to news stories like Ebola and political events, to take full advantage of the resources of ABC News, which is also right next door to The View's new studio in the ABC Broadcast Center, several blocks east of the show's former location.
Outgoing ABC News president Ben Sherwood, who's taking over for Anne Sweeney as co-chairman of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney/ABC Television Group in February, long wanted ABC News to take over The View.
In his note, Goldston wrote that The View "has always operated at the intersection of opinion and news."
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"In its long and storied history, it has very often made headlines as the biggest names from politics to pop culture have chosen The View to share their incredible stories," Goldston added. "For 18 seasons it has occupied a unique place in American culture and been a destination for presidents, world leaders and celebrities, both the famous and the infamous."
ABC News' nonfiction programming also includes hospital documentary series NY Med, Surgeon Oz and ABC News chief medical editor Dr. Richard Besser's Ebola documentary for Discovery.
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"I feel incredibly fortunate that we’re now expanding our nonfiction roster to include The View," Goldston wrote. "We couldn’t be more thrilled to work with its terrific team, and we look forward to exciting days ahead."
The View recently underwent a significant makeover, with Barbara Walters retiring from her role as on-air co-host and the show replacing panelists Jenny McCarthy and Sherri Shepherd with Rosie O'Donnell, Rosie Perez and Nicolle Wallace. The show's set has also been redesigned at least twice. Regular viewers have also noticed changes in the show's on-air logos and other set tweaks since the 18th season debuted in September.
Read Goldston's full memo below.
I want to share some exciting news. ABC News is expanding our nonfiction programming group, which already includes Lincoln Square Productions, and will now also include The View.
The View, created by our own great Barbara Walters, has always operated at the intersection of opinion and news. In its long and storied history, it has very often made headlines as the biggest names from politics to pop culture have chosen The View to share their incredible stories. For 18 seasons it has occupied a unique place in American culture and been a destination for presidents, world leaders and celebrities, both the famous and the infamous.
This fall The View began another exciting chapter with Whoopi Goldberg, Rosie O’Donnell, Rosie Perez and Nicolle Wallace at the table. They have proven once again that a panel of diverse, accomplished women with vast experiences makes for colorful conversation and great television.
As many of you know firsthand, The View has often called on our on-air team to help viewers understand the biggest stories of the day, from Ebola to Election Night. Moving The View to our nonfiction programming group now allows it to fully draw on the vast resources of ABC News and our team in New York, especially now that the show is based right next to the Barbara Walters building.
In addition to their current and vital roles, I’ve asked Tom Cibrowski, Barbara Fedida and David Sloan to work closely with Randy Barone, Bill Wolff, Brian Balthazar, Kathleen Rajsp and the very talented team on-air and behind the scenes at The View. Tom, Barbara and David have helped take our shows to the next level and worked on a wide range of diverse news and non-fiction programming. Now they’ll help guide The View in its exciting next chapter.
We started to ramp up our nonfiction programming several years ago, and under the strong leadership of Morgan Hertzan, Lincoln Square Productions is growing fast and doing some simply amazing work. Award-winning shows like NY Med, Dr. Besser’s Ebola documentary for Discovery and Surgeon Oz have broadened our perspective on how we better explain the world to our audience and draw new viewers to ABC News.
I feel incredibly fortunate that we’re now expanding our nonfiction roster to include The View. We couldn’t be more thrilled to work with its terrific team, and we look forward to exciting days ahead.
Michael O'Connell contributed to this story.