Disney layoffs have hit ABC News, with the unit expected to lose around 50 staffers total throughout the entire process, an individual with knowledge told TheWrap.
Those laid off include senior vice president of talent strategy and development Galen Gordon, senior vice president of newsgathering Wendy Fisher, vice president of talent strategy and development Mary Noonan, and VP of corporate communications Alison Rudnick as well as ABC News L.A. bureau chief David Herndon, senior executive producer Chris Vlasto and executive editorial producer Heather Riley.
ABC News president Kim Godwin said in a memo obtained by TheWrap that, “While these actions are never easy, they are a necessary step to ensure we’re on solid footing for the years ahead as we chart a sustainable, growth-oriented path forward for the entire organization.”
The layoffs come as Disney cuts 7,000 jobs, and executives aren’t exactly safe. On Wednesday, Marvel Entertainment CEO Ike Perlmutter was laid off and the entire unit was folded into Disney.
Godwin also outlined the new structure, which includes Katie den Daas – who has been leading the London bureau – taking over as vice president of Newsgathering. She will oversee the domestic and international teams. Michael Kreisel, who will manage the domestic bureau chiefs aside from the DC bureau and NewsOne, will report to den Daas. NewsOne will continue to be headed by Al Prieto. Jonathan Greenberger will lead the DC bureau and political coverage, while Kirit Radia will oversee the London bureau and all other international bureaus and teams worldwide. Den Daas will transition in the coming weeks to New York, with a new London bureau chief to be announced soon.
Effective immediately, the Business and Operations team will expand to include Talent Strategy, Production Operations, Business Operations and Business Affairs. All will report to Derek Medina, EVP, ABC News.
ABC News’ investigative and enterprise reporting units, which include Medical, Business, and Climate, will join the linear shows and Special Events, reporting to Stacia Deshishku, executive editor and SVP of News.
“Most importantly, I would like to acknowledge the work and legacy of our departing staff members,” Godwin said in her memo. “Not only are they our colleagues, they’re also our friends who will always be a part of the proud history of this esteemed organization. On behalf of the entire ABC News family, thank you for your service and professionalism.”