April 14, 2024

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ABC News President Kim Goodwin Gets a New 'Chief Micromanager', Effectively Demoted: Sources

ABC News President Kim Goodwin Gets a New 'Chief Micromanager', Effectively Demoted: Sources

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Embattled ABC News chief Kim Goodwin has been effectively demoted and will report to a “chief micromanager,” insiders told The Post — after parent Disney announced on Wednesday a major restructuring of the network's leadership.

The Mouse House said it is promoting veteran executive Debra O'Connell to lead a new division that will include ABC News, which includes the top-rated programs “Good Morning America” ​​and “World News Tonight with David Muir.”

Goodwin will now report directly to O'Connell, a 27-year Disney veteran who was responsible for ABC-owned television stations and the company's entertainment networks, including FX and National Geographic Networks.

A source who worked closely with O'Connell said the change makes Goodwin “irrelevant” as news chief.

“Debra is a micromanager. She will control everything,” the source said. “Kim is layered and marginalized.”

The restructuring was announced shortly after Goodwin renewed her contract to remain president of ABC News.

ABC News President Kim Goodwin has received an effective demotion, according to some sources, as the network restructures. getty images,

Another media source said Goodwin was likely told that her contract would not be renewed unless she accepted the new position.

The Post has reached out to ABC News for comment.

In a memo to staff, Goodwin wrote: “Debra and I have collaborated over the past two years, and she is a dedicated leader who always champions the best in journalism.”

Previously, Goodwin reported to Disney Entertainment co-president Dana Walden, who is often cited among a pool of potential successors to Disney CEO Bob Iger when he retires next year.

“Debra is an excellent executive who has succeeded in a wide range of leadership roles at our company and knows well the extraordinary strength of ABC News and its world-class journalists,” Walden said in a statement.

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“This new role gives her oversight of all of our line operations, where she will be able to enhance and nurture our iconic brands into the future. I look forward to her leading these incredibly talented teams as we build on our success.”

“I consider it an honor to champion the best networks, the best news organization and the best stations in the world, and I thank Dana for her leadership and trust,” O'Connell said.

The move comes as Iger addresses a proxy battle led by activist investor Nelson Peltz.

Under the restructuring, Goodwin will now report to Debra O'Connell, seen by some as a micromanaging boss. Getty Images

“I think this is in response to the need to reduce and simplify costs,” the media insider added. “I also think it was Kim’s flaws that prompted this.”

Goodwin has been a lightning rod for ABC News, which has lost some ground to rivals NBC News and CBS News in its higher-rated programming.

Senior officials at the network have expressed interest, an insider told The Post, noting that Goodwin's numerous missteps during her two-and-a-half-year tenure did not help her cause.

Goodwin initially drew widespread criticism from many at the network as news spread of the scandalous relationship between “GMA3” hosts TJ Holmes and Amy Robach.

Details of the affair leaked in November 2022, but Goodwin allowed the “GMA3” pair to remain on the air, causing a scene that led to more news stories.

As more sensational tales emerged, Goodwin took the duo to court and defended them in an inter-office phone call on December 5, saying they “did not violate company policy.”

ABC launched an internal investigation soon after, during which more sensational stories were leaked to the tabloids about Holmes' other affairs at ABC. After a long pause, ABC settled with the pair to exit the company.

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Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

One media executive speculated at the time that “defending TJ and Amy early may have cost the company a million dollars.”

Goodwin had previously reported to Dana Walden, one of a small group considered as a candidate for Iger's job when he retires. Getty Images

Other missteps included the awkward handling of Whoopi Goldberg's suspension after she made anti-Semitic comments on “The View.”

Some employees have also complained about Goodwin's self-promotional style that overlooks the news department's serious mission. They noted that actors dressed as Wakanda warriors from Marvel's “Black Panther” led Goodwin on stage at the opening reception for the National Association of Black Journalists' conference in 2022.

Others pointed out a Book News article This led to Goodwin's promotion of her alma mater, indicating that she was looking to join the Board of Trustees.

Staff said the executive's “continued efforts to turn ABC News into a cheerleader organization for her alma mater Florida A&M University” caused problems as “Good Morning America” ​​strangely aired live from the school's homecoming in October.

During her short tenure, Goodwin made a large number of mistakes, including aggravating the case of TJ Holmes and Amy Robach. Getty Images for the Women in Media Alliance

“She's the head of news tourism, not the head of news,” an ABC News insider told The Post last April, after Goodwin ruffled feathers by ripping off several veteran staffers.

At that time, Goodwin fired 50 employees — many of whom were well-respected and high-ranking — and appointed her new leadership team, which sources described as “back men” who did not dare question their leader.

Some of the fired employees have considered filing a lawsuit against ABC News, after they were not offered buyouts or severance. The Daily Beast reported on time.

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Under Goodwin's leadership, ratings for ABC News' morning shows and evening news declined. Christopher Sadowski

For all that, Goodwin's apparent demotion has been the talk of Hollywood for some time. Last year, The Daily Beast reported that a restructuring may be underway, and speculated that O'Connell, who had been president of networks and television operations, could be promoted over Goodwin.

What many media outlets described as “catastrophic.” Vanity Fair profile Last March, Goodwin was questioned about the possibility.

“The bottom line is, I really don't know, right? Our organization is trying to figure it out, trying to figure out who's reporting to whom. What I do know is that I still lead ABC News, and I have key support. “There are a lot of influential parts, and I'm not privy to on those conversations.”

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