NEW YORK (AP) — ABC named Kim Godwin as its information division president on Wednesday, making her the primary Black lady to be the highest information government at a broadcast community.
Godwin has been second-in-command at CBS News, which realized Wednesday that its personal division president, Susan Zirinsky, is stepping down after two years on the job.
Godwin has labored at CBS News since 2007, after working native broadcast information operations in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and Cleveland. She replaces James Goldston, who announced in January that he was leaving.
“Throughout Kim’s career in global news organizations and local newsrooms, she has distinguished herself as a fierce advocate for excellence, collaboration, inclusion and the vital role of accurate and transparent news reporting,” mentioned her new boss, Disney normal leisure content material chairman Peter Rice.
Godwin was not made obtainable for an interview.
She joins a division that has been outwardly buzzing alongside. “World News Tonight,” anchored by David Muir, is in first place and been widening his scores lead. “Good Morning America” is the most well-liked information present within the morning.
Last summer season, nonetheless, ABC News lower ties with its government answerable for expertise and recruitment after an investigation revealed she had made racist feedback and had a tough administration model.
It’s the kind of situation which may have tipped the steadiness in favor of candidate to lead the information division coming from the surface as an alternative of the present ranks.
Rick Kaplan, a longtime community information government who was working the “CBS Evening News” when Godwin was employed in 2007 to be a producer there, praised ABC’s resolution. He described Godwin as “a very centered, smart person who loves to talk about the news.”
“She’s not coming in there thinking everything needs to be saved,” he mentioned. “ABC doesn’t need saving, like CBS didn’t need saving. She has respect for the institution. Every network has its own culture, and if you don’t have respect for the culture” it may be hassle, he mentioned.
The National Association of Black Journalists and Northwestern University gave Godwin its Ida B. Wells Award final yr for constructing numerous newsrooms and advocating for protection of individuals of coloration.
While Godwin would be the first Black chief government at both ABC, CBS or NBC News, there have been Black leaders at cable information networks. Rashida Jones is 2 months into her job as MSNBC president. Pamela Thomas Graham led CNBC within the 2000s. Princell Hair, at the moment president and CEO of the Black News Channel, ran NCS’s home community in 2003 and 2004.
Between ABC’s announcement and Zirinsky’s, rival CBS News will quickly have its high two government jobs to fill. Zirinsky instructed colleagues on the community’s morning information assembly Wednesday that she is going to go away as division president, in accordance to somebody who participated and spoke on situation of anonymity as a result of it was an inside gathering.
“I am absolutely not leaving CBS,” mentioned Zirinsky, 69, a longtime information producer who has labored on the community because the early Seventies. The Wall Street Journal reported that she is anticipated to signal a deal to produce content material.
During her two years as chief, Zirinsky appointed Norah O’Donnell as anchor of “CBS Evening News,” and moved its studio to Washington. She put in a brand new crew at “CBS This Morning” and appointed Bill Owens to run “60 Minutes,” the community’s flagship broadcast.
She additionally pressed for range in administration by selling Godwin and Ingrid Ciprian-Matthews, one other government vp and Washington bureau chief.
Zirinsky, the longtime “48 Hours” government producer earlier than turning into division president, was the mannequin for the hard-charging information producer portrayed by Holly Hunter within the 1987 film, “Broadcast News.”