Davis named chief of all newscasts
ABC News has reorganized its exec ranks, appointing former WABC-TV prexy-general manager Dave Davis as chief of all newscasts, including “World News,” “20/20,” “This Week,” “Nightline” and “Good Morning America.”
Davis, the former topper of ABC’s flagship O&O in Gotham, becomes No. 2 to ABC News prexy David Westin.
“It is better and more streamlined for the organization to have all newscasts reporting to a single executive,” Westin said. “It makes sure there are no walls that can be built between the programs so they are all operating together.”
The appointment of Davis replaces a management structure in which the various ABC News shows reported to three news execs: “World News” and the 24-hour news desk to Paul Slavin, “GMA” and the newsmagazines to Phyllis McGrady and “Nightline” and “This Week” to Paul Mason.
After the shuffle, all shows report in to Davis. McGrady becomes senior veep of creative development, while Slavin becomes head of the news division’s digital initiatives. Both continue to report to Westin.
“It makes sure all that all the programs move forward together and are improving at the same time the organization is devoting more time and attention to digital,” Westin said.
Mason, former chief of “This Week With George Stephanopoulos” and “Nightline,” will become senior VP for politics, supervising all of the net’s coverage of the 2008 elections and reporting to Davis.
“The upcoming election is one of the biggest and most important stories that most of us will cover in our careers,” Westin said.
The changes enshrine some of the shifts taking place across the network news biz. In the past, correspondents and producers generally reported to one newscast. A correspondent for “World News” or for “Nightline” would report for those shows only.
Now network journalists typically work for all shows and platforms. Brian Ross’ investigative unit, for example, produces content for “World News,” “GMA,” “20/20” and the Web.