Several Executives Cut as Disney Layoffs Come For ABC News


Disney has struck again. This time at their ABC News channel. According to reports, 50 people were let go, including some senior executives.

ABC New President Kim Godwin sent out a memo to staffers about the cuts saying:

Throughout the company, teams are being impacted by the downsizing that was announced several weeks ago, including our own ABC News family. While these actions are never easy, they are a necessary step to ensure we’re on solid footing for the years ahead as we chart a sustainable, growth-oriented path forward for the entire organization.

Wendy Fisher, Senior Vice President of Newsgathering, who has been there since 1989, starting as a desk assistant, has been laid off. Another long-time staffer, David Herndon, ABC News Los Angeles bureau chief, started as a producer in 1999.

Other layoffs include the two heads of the Talent and Strategy and Development department -Galen Gordon, Senior Vice President of Talent and Strategy and Development as well as Mary Noonan, Vice President of Talent Strategy and Development.

A few more executives are being cut, including Alison Rudnick, Vice President of Corporate Communications; Chris Vlasto, Senior Executive Producer on the ABC News Investigative Unit; and Heather Riley, an Executive Editorial Producer.

Meanwhile, other individuals are being shifted upwards:

Katie den Daas, the ABC News London bureau chief, will now be moved up to vice president of newsgathering. Variety said she will now “take oversight of ABC News’ domestic and international teams, including bureaus worldwide.” A new London bureau chief has yet to be named.

ABC News Executive Vice President Derek Medina will now oversee the talent strategy and production operations, business operations, and business affairs.

Stacia Deshishku, ABC News Executive Editor, will take charge of the ABC News Investigative Reporting Unit and the Enterprise Reporting Units.

Godwin also mentioned the people given more oversight and said that “all other reporting lines will remain the same.”

Like you, I have come to trust and rely on the expertise and dedication of Katie, Derek and Stacia, and I am grateful to count them among my senior leaders. All other reporting lines will remain the same. I would like to acknowledge the work and legacy of our departing staff members. Not only are they our colleagues, they’re also our friends who will always be a part of the proud history of this esteemed organization. On behalf of the entire ABC News family, thank you for your service and professionalism.

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Sources: Fox News, Variety

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