James Goldston Named President of ABC News

By Alyssa Bernstein

Apr 10, 2014 8:46am

 

Ben Sherwood sent the following note to ABC News staff this morning announcing that James Goldston will be the next President of ABC News.

As my partner these past three years, James Goldston has helped lead ABC News to new heights.  An award-winning journalist, masterful programmer, and innovative businessman, James has helped steer ABC News in moments of triumph and adversity.  And I’m delighted to announce that he will be the next President of ABC News.

When I offered James the job, he expressed heartfelt gratitude to the people of ABC News, tremendous excitement about the future, and a commitment to nurturing the boldness, creativity, enterprise and fighting spirit that define our division. In his view and mine, path-breaking journalism and innovative storytelling are the rocket fuel of ABC News.

James embarked on his journey to America a decade ago, but his grandfather’s depression era visit to these shores set the story in motion. To support his family, Stanley Goldston came to America on a boat in the early 30′s, rode the rails in search of work and found a job in the citrus fields of Los Gatos, California. He returned to England some years later with enough money to support his family through hard times.

James joined ABC News in 2004 after leading Britain’s most watched current affairs program, “Tonight with Trevor McDonald.” During his tenure as a producer and executive producer, “Tonight” was recognized three times as Program of the Year by the Royal Television Society.

While James began his ABC career as a Senior Producer of primetime specials and investigations, he was swiftly promoted to Executive Producer of Nightline.  At the time, many believed the broadcast had seen its best days – but James disagreed. Winning multiple Emmys, Murrows, and a duPont for the program’s coverage of Afghanistan, James helped re-imagine and re-invigorate Nightline. The audience responded with approval and the broadcast moved from third to perpetual first in Late Night.

In March 2011, I asked James to take the helm at Good Morning America.  Alongside Tom Cibrowski, he led the program on a dynamic new track. Thanks to their vision, and the work of our immensely talented anchors and staff, GMA will soon celebrate two straight years as America’s #1 morning program.

In 2012, I again asked James to take on a new role as Senior Vice President responsible for content and development across the entire division. The results speak for themselves:  GMA is enjoying its best performance in decades; World News just saw its best quarter in three years; Nightline has delivered the best numbers in 11 years in the time period; 20/20 is at a four year high; and This Week just posted its best quarter and longest winning streak over NBC in 16 years.

During his tenure overseeing content, ABC News has won the highest honors in our profession, including division-wide Peabodys for coverage of Superstorm Sandy and for Robin’s Journey; five Edward R. Murrow Awards including the Best Newscast in 2012 for World News; a 2013 Emmy for Nightline; and two Cronkite awards.

James’ appointment will build on our strengths and provide stability and continuity as I transition to my new role at Disney ABC.

In the weeks ahead, I will work closely with James and the whole team to ensure a smooth and seamless transition.

Though my family and I will move to Los Angeles this summer, I want to make clear that I will always feel a part of ABC News.  I will always watch what you do, cheer for you, and support each and every one of you in your vital mission. And, yes, I will still call the news desk at 3 am!

On this special day, please join me in congratulating James on his new role. 

Just 82 years after his grandfather set foot in this country, he and his family are writing another American story.

James and his wife Laura are raising their three boys in Brooklyn. Youngest son, Ben, was born in New York City and his older brothers Isaac and Toby, along with their parents, look forward to becoming citizens in the coming years.

I am confident James is the right person to lead ABC News to an even brighter and better future.

Ben

 

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Press Release:

JAMES GOLDSTON NAMED PRESIDENT OF ABC NEWS

Burbank, CA/New York, NY — Thursday, April 10, 2014 . . . As part of the ongoing succession process, Anne Sweeney, co-chair, Disney Media Networks and president, Disney/ABC Television Group today announced that ABC News Senior Vice President James Goldston has been named president, ABC News, replacing Ben Sherwood, who was recently promoted to co-president, Disney/ABC Television Group.

In this role, Mr. Goldston will be responsible for all editorial and business aspects of the News Division, including all ABC News programs on the ABC Television Network, ABC News Radio, ABC News.com and ABC News NOW.

In making the announcement, Ms. Sweeney stated, “James has been an integral part of the resurgence at ABC News, lending his insight and expertise to our News programs as they’ve experienced tremendous success and momentum.  He’s smart, strategic and fearless in his pursuit of creative excellence.”

In a note to ABC staff, Mr. Sherwood said, “An award-winning journalist, masterful programmer, and innovative businessman, James has helped steer ABC News in moments of triumph and challenge,” said Mr. Sherwood. “I am confident he is the right person to lead ABC News to an even brighter and better future.”

“Coming to ABC News has been the most exciting and rewarding time in my life.  The people of ABC News amaze me every day with their dedication, creativity, hunger for the truth and sense of duty to our vitally important mission,” said Mr. Goldston.  “Over the past three years, Ben inspired the division with the two most important things we needed – confidence in the future and a belief that if we dreamed big dreams we could accomplish anything.  Armed with those, I know our incredible team will take ABC News to even greater heights.”

Mr. Goldston was named Senior Vice President for Content and Development of ABC News in March 2012. In this role, he oversaw ABC News programs and Executive Producers and led the development of new shows for broadcast, cable and other distribution.

Prior to his role as Senior Vice President, Mr. Goldston was the Senior Executive Producer of “Good Morning America” from February 2011-March 2012, the historic and pivotal time in which “Good Morning America” closed in on “Today’s” 16-year winning streak to ultimately become the number one morning show in April 2012.

Mr. Goldston joined ABC News in 2004 as Senior Producer of primetime specials and investigations and was promoted shortly thereafter to Executive Producer of “Nightline,” a position he held until 2011. Under his leadership, “Nightline” rose to the number one program in late night and was honored with many awards, including a duPont, a Murrow and multiple Emmy Awards.

Before joining ABC News, Mr. Goldston led Britain’s most watched current affairs program, ITV1′s “Tonight with Trevor McDonald,” from 2002-2004. During his tenure as both Producer and Executive Producer, “Tonight” was honored with the prestigious Program of the Year Award three times in five years.

A graduate of Jesus College, Oxford University, Mr. Goldston began his career in television as a producer for several BBC News programs, including “Newsnight,” the network’s nightly news analysis show, as well as BBC’s flagship current affairs program, “Panorama.”

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