But what does Roone really think?

ABC News chairman Roone Arledge won’t spark any new fireworks in a Vanity Fair article due out next week, but he hasn’t made new friends at rival networks, either. In the lengthy piece by David Margolick, the familiar subjects of moves by Arledge and his presumable successor, David Westin, are detailed, as well as ABC News’ legal and ratings problems. Arledge defended his record, pointing to his talent roster, even if divas like Barbara Walters and Diane Sawyer scuffle for key interviews. “Everybody would love to have these problems,” he said, adding that NBC has “two stars overall,” referring to Tom Brokaw and Katie Couric. CBS has “Dan Rather and the people at ’60 Minutes’ _ That’s really it.” As for Bryant Gumbel’s decision to move from NBC to CBS instead of the Alphabet web, Gumbel was “not even in the same league” as ABC’s news stars. Gumbel said Monday, “It is unfortunate that sour grapes compelled Roone to take a personal shot.” NBC News prexy Andy Lack opined, “These are very tough times for ABC News. Roone was nicer when he was in first place.”

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