Programming

EXCLUSIVE: ABC News Eyeing High-Level Executive Shifts

Network looking at elevating 'GMA' EP James Goldston to wider-ranging role 2/07/2012 03:26:22 PM Eastern

ABC News currently has a plan in the works that would elevate Good Morning America senior executive producer James Goldston to a more wide-ranging role under President Ben Sherwood, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the plan.

Insiders expect that Goldston would be succeeded at his current post by Tom Cibrowski, who is executive producer of the morning program and already runs much of the day-to-day operations of the show. A source notes there is no immediate timeline for making the personnel change.

Sources say while Goldston is expected to be elevated to a more wide-ranging role, it would not necessarily fill the number two spot to Sherwood that has been vacant since Dave Davis, who served under former ABCNews President David Westin, left the job in July 2010. After Davis' departure, ABC News' executive producers started reporting directly to Westin, a practice that has continued since Sherwood took over the news division in December 2010. A source says Sherwood is not looking to name a number two and will retain oversight of the division's executive producers, though Goldston would work very closely with the EPs on each of the broadcasts.

Goldston was named senior EP of GMA last February after serving as executive producer of Nightline since 2005. Under his leadership, the number-two morning program has narrowed its gap behind NBC's Today to under 600,000 total viewers season to date, the closest it has been in 16 years. Making GMA number one in the mornings has been a priority of Sherwood's since he took the helm, a point he reiterated to reporters at TCA press tour in January.

"The Today show is very mighty and they've been very mighty for a very long time," he said. "It's an incredible priority for us to take on, to challenge and to topple the Today show."

Tasked with a larger editorial oversight of all ABC News broadcasts, Goldston would help manage content across the news divisions, helping choose which stories are important and how they should be stacked, among other responsibilities.

"James is incredibly important player at ABC News but we have no comment on the speculation," an ABC News spokesperson said.

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