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ABC News president James Golston stepping down

ABC News president James Golston stepping down
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ABC News President James Goldston declared on Thursday that he will step down from the position and depart the news division after serving as president for seven years. 

Goldston, who worked at ABC News for 17 years, announced his decision in a memo to staff, calling it a “really tough decision.” His last day is planned for March 31 in order to “ensure a smooth transition to a new leader.”

“I’ve loved every day of my 17 years at ABC News, but in recent times I’ve always assumed that after this extraordinary election cycle, which we’ve covered at a full sprint for four years, it would be time for a change,” he said in the announcement. “After a great deal of reflection over the last few months, I’m ready for a new adventure.”

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The ABC News president vowed to work with Peter Rice, the chairman of general entertainment content for the Walt Disney Company, to help with the search for his replacement.

Goldston called the past seven years, in which he worked as president, “a transformative time for the news division,” citing the transfer of FiveThirtyEight from ESPN to ABC News and the launching of ABC News Live.

“This is one of the great jobs in all of journalism,” he said. “My only regret is not being able to see our newsrooms filled again with people and energy and endeavor before I go, but I will find ways to say thank you to as many of you as I possibly can in the coming weeks.”

“I’m excited for what this next chapter holds for me, but for now let me just say it’s been the honor and privilege of a lifetime to lead ABC News,” he concluded.

Rice also sent an email to staff, celebrating Goldston for his leadership of the news division “through one of the most tumultuous news cycles in history.”

“James has helped build ABC News into one of the most trusted and admired news organizations,” he said. 

“Maintaining journalistic excellence and integrity amidst a pandemic upheaval, social injustice reckoning, political divide and historic election is an exceptional accomplishment and I commend James for guiding the team through it with distinction,” he added. 

Goldston's departure from ABC News is the latest change in major network news, after Andrew Lack left as chairman of NBC News and MSNBC last year, Deadline noted