James Goldston stepping down as top ABC News executive

James Goldston says he is stepping down after seven years as ABC News president

NEW YORK -- ABC News President James Goldston said Thursday that he will leave the network at the end of March, after seven years of leading the news division.

The low-profile Goldston leaves at a time ABC's flagship newscasts, “World News Tonight” and “Good Morning America," are both leading its rivals in the ratings.

His departure adds to the list of top jobs that need to be filled at major news organizations, including The Washington Post and Los Angeles Times.

During his tenure, the network purchased the FiveThirtyEight blog, took over “The View” from ABC's entertainment division and launched a more aggressive online offering, ABC News Live.

One low point came last year when a Goldston deputy in charge of talent relations was forced out after an investigation revealed she had made racially insensitive comments.

Peter Rice, chairman of general entertainment content for ABC parent Walt Disney Co., praised Goldston for his work, particularly during the pandemic and 2020's political upheaval.

“As a leader he is a calming force in the chaos of perpetual news, remaining both thoughtful and strategic while also maintaining his much appreciated wit,” Rice said in a memo to staff.

Rice said he's appointing five ABC News executives to run the division as a search commences for a new leader: Derek Medina, Michael Corn, Almin Karamehmedovic, Wendy Fisher and Marie Nelson.