Kimberly Godwin will soon make history as president of ABC News. The hiring makes Godwin the first Black executive to run one of the nation’s major network news divisions.
“I have immense respect and admiration for ABC News,” Godwin said in a statement Wednesday. “As the most trusted brand in news, they are to be commended for the extraordinary work and dedication of the journalists, producers, executives and their teams across the organization. I am honored to take on this stewardship and excited for what we will achieve together.”
The veteran news executive starts in May and replaces James Goldston, who left last month after seven years in the position.
Godwin most recently worked as executive vice president of news for CBS and was the second-in-command there.
At ABC, she will report to Peter Rice, chairman of Disney General Entertainment Content.
“Kim is an instinctive and admired executive whose unique experiences, strengths and strategic vision made her the ideal choice to lead the outstanding team at ABC News and build on their incredible success,” Rice said in a statement. “Throughout Kim’s career in global news organizations and local newsrooms, she has distinguished herself as a fierce advocate for excellence, collaboration, inclusion and the vital role of accurate and transparent news reporting.”
The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) praised Godwin’s hiring.
“This historic announcement shows what we at NABJ have always known: there are Black executives more than capable of taking the reins of a network operation,” the organization said in a news release Wednesday. “We hope this move sends a clear signal to other networks,”
The NABJ called on ABC to “assess the culture and work environment” in its news division this past July, after the company fired senior news executive Barbara Fedida, following claims that she made racist remarks about Black staffers.