ABC News taps Kimberly Godwin, first Black executive to run major broadcast news division
Veteran CBS News executive Kimberly Godwin has been tapped to lead ABC News.
She will be the first Black executive to run a major U.S. broadcast news division.
In February, Rashida Jones became the first Black woman to lead a cable news network as president of MSNBC.
Godwin will take over in May for James Goldston, who announced in January that he planned to step down. At CBS, she was second-in-command to division president Susan Zirinsky, who is leaving after two years on the job.
The announcement was made by Walt Disney Chairman of General Entertainment Content Peter Rice who called Godwin “an instinctive and admired executive whose unique experiences, strengths and strategic vision made her the ideal choice.”
Bernie Madoff: Who are some of the celebrities scammed in Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme?
Lowe’s Earth Day freebie: Sign-up begins Thursday for April 22 free tree sapling giveaway
Godwin will oversee editorial and business operations for broadcast, digital, streaming and audio news across the news organization including “Good Morning America,” “World News Tonight,” “20/20,” “Nightline,” and “The View.”
“I have immense respect and admiration for ABC News,” Godwin said in a statement. “As the most trusted brand in news, they are to be commended for the extraordinary work and dedication of the journalists, producers, executives and their teams across the organization. I am honored to take on this stewardship and excited for what we will achieve together.”
Godwin’s appointment comes as pressure intensifies on broadcast news organizations to fill leadership positions with hires from diverse backgrounds. Every previous president of ABC news has been a white man, CNN reported Wednesday.
“This historic announcement shows what we at NABJ have always known: there are Black executives more than capable of taking the reins of a network operation. We hope this move sends a clear signal to other networks,” Ken Lemon, the National Association of Black Journalists’ vice president-broadcast, said in a blog post.
Veteran CBS News executive Kimberly Godwin has been tapped to lead ABC News. (Photo: HEIDI GUTMAN, ABC)
The NABJ called on ABC News to appoint a Black executive earlier this year.
Last year, ABC News cut ties with an executive after an investigation found that she had made racist comments.
“In the 53 years since the Kerner Commission called on news media outlets to increase the hiring of Black anchors, reporters and editors, our industry has made a number of strides,” NABJ President Dorothy Tucker said in February.
“African Americans have ascended to the top ranks of running publications like The New York Times, and just this week the first Black head of a cable news network started at MSNBC. But never have we seen an African American run a broadcast news network. That needs to change in 2021.”
NABJ gave Godwin its Ida B. Wells Award in November for nurturing young journalists, building diverse newsrooms and pushing for more coverage of communities of color.
Source: Read Full Article