ABC News wooing Rooney

“ABC World News Tonight” may soon have a new executive producer. Alphabet web news honchos are in “serious negotiations” with WCVB news director Emily Rooney, according to ABC sources.

Rooney had a callback meeting at the network last week with Roone Arledge and impressed the ABC News division prexy. Sources inside the news division say she has long been the first choice of “World News” anchor Peter Jennings.

“Nobody has made any decisions yet,” says Rooney. “We’re still talking.”

It may take some wooing to lure Rooney away from the Hearst-owned ABC affil, a news powerhouse in the Boston market. “You have to realize, WCVB News does a lot of original programming, probably more than any other in station in the country — it’s like a network news division,” says Rory O’Connor, president of Globalvision, who toiled with Rooney at WCVB. “Emily is tough, she’s one of the best in the business, but it might be hard for her to leave the comforts of Boston living for New York.”

For Rooney, journalism’s a family affair. Her husband, Kirby Perkins, is a reporter for Boston’s WCVB. Her father is “60 Minutes” commentator Andy Rooney.

If ABC can reach an agreement with Rooney, it will end a three-month search for a successor to Paul Friedman, who was promoted to the No. 2 slot at the news division.

An ABC News spokesman declined comment.

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