Programming

This Week with George Stephanopoulos Loses EP

Kathy O'Hearn leaving show to produce special-event political coverage for ABC News. 7/03/2008 07:24:00 AM Eastern

Kathy O'Hearn, executive producer of ABC NewsThis Week with George Stephanopoulos, is exiting the show after three years to produce special-event political coverage for the network, ABC confirmed Thursday.

Kathy O'Hearn

She will remain in the post until a replacement can be found. An ABC source said no successor had been named.

"We have accomplished a lot in just three years," O'Hearn said in an e-mail to staffers late Thursday, "and I feel that I have achieved what I set out to do."

She cited winning the Cronkite award for its "On the Trail" series, the Des Moines presidential debates and the move to HD production at the new Newseum among those accomplishments.

"I am excited to tell you that ABC News has offered me the opportunity to produce upcoming political special events with Marc Burstein," she added. "I can't imagine a more perfect assignment given this historic political year. And I look forward to working with all of you in this new role."

In response, Stephanopoulos e-mailed his thanks to O'Hearn. He cited "the energy, edge and commitment you demonstrated on This Week. You brought a fresh eye to Sunday morning, and your three years of spirited leadership are filled with high-wire feats -- especially those unprecedented Iowa debates and the pioneering move to HD at the Newseum."

ABC News executive vice president Dave Davis, who oversees the show, added his thanks, as well as his appreciation for her "willingness to stay on the job while we identify new leadership."

Personnel moves late in the day before a long weekend raise red flags about news companies want to bury, but a source said it was instead a case of getting all of the ducks in a row before announcing it internally, which happened Thursday.

It has been in the works for a while," the source added. "It was a mutual decision. She decided she wanted to try something new, and [ABC was] open to it."

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