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ABC News president to leave network in March

James Goldston is the latest news industry executive to depart as newsrooms try to avoid a post-Trump audience slide.

James Goldston is the latest news industry executive to depart as newsrooms try to avoid a post-Trump audience slide.

The top executive in charge of ABC News will depart the company at the end of March, according to a memo circulated among employees on Thursday.

James Goldston has served as the president of ABC News for the last seven years as part of his nearly-two decades career with the company.

“I’ve loved every day of my 17 years at ABC News,” Goldston wrote in the memo. “But in recent times, I’ve always assumed that after this extraordinary election cycle, which we’ve covered at a full sprint for four years, it would be time for a change.”

Goldston’s resignation comes amid a seismic shuffle at establishment, mainstream news outlets with the chaos of the Trump administration behind them. A chaotic four years proved to be a boon for newspapers and television stations, just as some predicted. Now, executives are wondering if viewers and subscribers will leave as a sense of normalcy returns.

Already, some newsroom executives have left or announced that they intend to do so. Earlier this week, Washington Post executive editor Marty Baron announced his intention to step down from the newspaper and retire from the industry. Last month, Rashida Jones was promoted to oversee MSNBC, replacing Phil Griffin at the network. Rumors at CNN over the fate of its president, Jeffrey Zucker, have persisted for months, with some speculating he could be the next high-profile broadcast executive to depart.

Similar newsroom shakeups have been observed at CBS News, Fox News and NBC News (which operates pseudo-autonomously from MSNBC). And now comes ABC News’ turn.

“This is one of the great jobs in all of journalism,” Goldston told his staffers. “My only regret is not being able to see our newsrooms filled again with people and energy and endeavor before I go, but I will find ways to say thank you to as many of you as I possibly can in the coming weeks.”

Goldston said he would work with other ABC News executives to help the network find his successor.

ABC News is operated by the ABC broadcast network, which is a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Company.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).