ABC News President David Westin will resign his post after 13 years of service. He sent an email to staffers Monday that said while “we’ve put in place news anchors on all of our programs” over the last nine months, the division also “went through a very difficult transformation made necessary by changes in our business and its economics.” One news report says that Westin, 58, had a long-running feud with parent company Disney over making the division more profitable. Though ABC News has made significant gains over the last year – Diane Sawyer has maintained respectable ratings on World News while Nightline has managed to flourish in late night opposite the talk shows – it continues to rank No. 2 behind NBC in the mornings and evenings.
Westin joined the division in March of 1997 and will remain its chief through the end of the year while ABC/Disney TV Group President Anne Sweeney finds a replacement. Sweeney released this statement Monday: “For the past 13 years, David Westin has proved himself a tireless advocate for ABC News, effectively guiding the group through some of the most seismic industry, and divisional, changes imaginable. During that time, he helped reinvent our news organization, and positioned us for great success going forward. I’m certain David will be as successful in whatever future endeavors he chooses to pursue. I will be announcing a new President of ABC News in the near future.”