May 18, 2022


Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

James Goldston is out as president of ABC News

James Goldston is departing his post as president of ABC News on March 31, the Walt Disney Co. unit said Thursday.

The announcement of Goldston’s exit comes six months after the ouster of the division’s longtime business affairs chief, Barbara Fedida, who left after an investigation into her alleged use of racist language when discussing the news division’s employees. The investigation followed a report in HuffPost.

Goldston has been rumored to be on his way out since Fedida officially parted ways with ABC in July.

Goldston succeeded Ben Sherwood as president of ABC News in 2014. According to a memo to staff, the decision to leave is his own.

“It’s a really tough decision,” Goldston said. “I’ve loved every day of my 17 years at ABC News, 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. After a great deal of reflection over the last few months, I’m ready for a new adventure.”

No replacement has been named yet.

Goldston joined ABC News in 2004 after a long career in British TV news. In 2005, he became executive producer of “Nightline,” where he was responsible for reviving the long-running late-night news franchise.

He also oversaw “Good Morning America” when it toppled “Today” for the top spot in the morning news ratings race in 2012, ending the NBC News franchise’s 16-year winning streak.

ABC News programs delivered solid ratings success over Goldston’s run. “Good Morning America” has been the most-watched morning news franchise since 2012. “ABC World News With David Muir” is the top-rated evening newscast, scoring its largest audience in two decades and often ranking as the most-watched program in all of television during the coronavirus pandemic.

ABC News also absorbed responsibility for the daytime chat show “The View” and turned it into a must-stop for politicians on the campaign trail.