The network news landscape changed again yesterday with the promotion of ABC News veteran Bob Murphy to senior VP for hard news.

Word of Murphy’s rise comes hot on the heels of Paul Friedman, formerly executive producer of “World News Tonight with Peter Jennings,” being named executive VP for the division and the second in command.

Murphy will report directly to Friedman.

Murphy will be responsible for editorial, operational and budgets for the division’s hard news operations. News coverage, radio news, special events, WTN, weekend news, NewsOne, and political coverage also fall under his watch.

Friedman replaced Stephen Weiswasser in the No. 2 slot. Weiswasser, brought in to the division to handle the streamlining, will now move to another corporate post.

No replacement for Friedman has been named at “World News.”

Meanwhile, Friedman has assumed some of the programming duties that were held by news VPs Richard Wald and Joanna Bistany. Senior VP Wald is expected to be named to a new position in the news division. Bistany is expected to stay in her current role as VP and assistant to ABC News’ president.

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