Former ABC News Chief James Goldston to Head New Nonfiction Division at Candle Media

The industry vet ran media strategy for the Jan. 6 hearings

James Goldston

Former ABC News chief James Goldston will helm a news division focused on scripted and non-scripted features and series inspired by true stories for Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs’ Candle Media.

Goldston, who will serve as the division’s president, previously spent 18 years at ABC News, including seven as its president, overseeing all aspects of its news division, including “Good Morning America” and World News with David Muir.”

He also led ABC News into the streaming era with a series of successful podcast and documentary projects for Hulu and Disney+, including “The Dropout,” produced by Rebecca Jarvis and her team, which became a successful podcast, documentary and Emmy-award winning scripted series for Hulu, and John’s Ridley’s “Let it Fall,” a duPont-Columbia Award-winning documentary on the L.A. riots.

His teams have won five Edward R. Murrow Awards for Overall Excellence, and numerous other prestigious honors in journalism, including a Peabody, duPont-Columbia and Emmy awards. 

After leaving ABC News in 2021, Goldston founded Aquitania Films, creating documentary series for the U.S., U.K. and global market. Last year, he also brought his storytelling acumen to producing the Jan. 6 hearings in Washington, D.C. Aquitania’s extensive development slate will join Goldston and his team at Candle Media. 

“Kevin and Tom have built a best-in-class team of storytellers at Candle Media,” Goldston said in a statement. “I’m thrilled to work with this brilliant group to create premium content based on the most compelling true-life stories.”  

The launch of Goldston’s new nonfiction division is the latest in a series of initiatives driving Candle Media’s growth, beginning with the acquisitions of Hello Sunshine and Moonbug Entertainment in 2021, followed by eight additional acquisitions in the company’s first 12 months of operations. Candle has close to 1,000 employees, with offices in L.A., London, New York, Nashville, Montreal, Mexico City, Tel Aviv and Singapore. 

“We have known James for many years, through our collective time together at Disney,” Mayer and Staggs added. “He is a world class storyteller, with a unique ability to turn real life stories into engaging, premium content across a variety of formats and platforms. We look forward to working with him to integrate and expand these capabilities as part of Candle.”