Kim Godwin Abruptly Resigns as ABC News President

ABC News undergoes leadership transition amid internal scrutiny.

by Nouman Rasool
Kim Godwin Abruptly Resigns as ABC News President
© Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Kim Godwin, a trailblazing figure who made history as the first Black woman to helm a major broadcast television news division, stunned the media landscape with her announcement on Sunday of her departure from ABC News and her retirement from the news industry.

The unexpected exit follows a strategic move by Disney, ABC's parent company, which elevated a seasoned executive to a newly established position, effectively relegating Godwin from her role overseeing ABC News. Nonetheless, Godwin had recently inked a contract extension to continue serving as president of the network.

In a previous statement regarding her contract renewal, Godwin exuded optimism, affirming her commitment to the ongoing work at ABC News. But in the note sent to the office, the tone was much different, with her having left an 'extremely considered' consideration for her move in terms of personal and family priorities.

Controversial On-Air Decision

During her tenure, Godwin faced controversy, such as the issue of her decision to keep on air daytime hosts T.J. Holmes and Amy Robach after reports surfaced that the two married journalists were romantically involved with one another.The incident raised concerns among ABC staff about her leadership, a sentiment that intensified in recent months.

Debra O'Connell, the executive who only this year ascended to a higher position within the company, praised Godwin for leading ABC News through one of its more tumultuous times, saying now it was her turn to lead, at least in an acting role.

The appointment of Godwin to ABC News last year was a big moment: The network was in the throes of internal turmoil and facing accusations of racial insensitivity. Now, as Godwin heads out, her tenure is under review. Godwin believes very strongly that culturally, the newsroom was reborn under her watch—new, with a lot of inclusivity and empowerment.

As Kim Godwin says goodbye to ABC News and journalism, her departure is echoed in the business, with her leaving behind an esteemed legacy of pioneering leadership and once again a newfound commitment to nurturing an inclusive and thriving news culture.