Media company ABC names Kimberly Godwin as new president

A logo for ABC is pictured atop a building in Burbank, California, U.S.

CBS News executive Kimberly Godwin has been named president of Walt Disney Co’s ABC News, the media company said on Wednesday, becoming the first Black woman to lead the news division of a major broadcast television network.

Godwin will join ABC News in early May, replacing James Goldston.

In July, ABC News fired senior executive Barbara Fedida after an independent investigation alleged she had made racially insensitive comments and used inappropriate language, according to a company email.

Fedida, the network’s former senior vice president for talent, editorial strategy and business affairs, denied the allegations when they surfaced in media reports in June, describing them as “incredibly misleading.”

Godwin’s hiring comes amid several big leadership changes in television news. In February AT&T Inc’s CNN said its president, Jeff Zucker, would leave the cable news network at the end of 2021. Rashida Jones took the helm of Comcast Corp-owned MSNBC in February, becoming the first Black woman to lead a cable news network.

And CBS is expected to announce shortly a successor for President Susan Zirinsky, who is leaving to pursue a production deal at parent company ViacomCBS.

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