In TV-news circles, James Goldston is the guy who helped breathe new life into “Nightline” after it suffered in the years after Ted Koppel’s departure. Or the guy who worked with ABC News chief Ben Sherwood and top producer Tom Cibrowski to send “Good Morning America” into the ratings lead ahead of NBC’s “Today.”
Now, there’s a sense emerging he could be the next head of ABC News.
With Sherwood being named Monday to succeed Anne Sweeney as the president of Disney’s ABC broadcast network and all its cable networks except ESPN, speculation has emerged that Goldston, currently senior veep for content and development at ABC News, could be the leading internal candidate for the top spot at ABC’s news unit.
Through an ABC News spokesman, Goldston declined to be interviewed.
But his work in recent years has been noticeable.
A former producer for ITV and BBC News, the British executive joined ABC News in 2004 as a senior producer of primetime specials and investigative reports. He produced ABC’s exclusive investigation into Victor Conte, the figure at the center of the Balco steroids sports scandal. Goldston was the executive producer of Britain’s most watched current affairs program, ITV1’s “Tonight with Trevor McDonald,”
When Goldston was named to his current slot in 2012, Sherwood lauded his keen eye for innovation in the way we produce and tell stories” and told staffers, “I look forward to seeing his leadership and ideas spread even more through the news division.”
Buzz around Goldston does not mean Walt Disney would not consider external candidates for the ABC News position. Sherwood, after all, was an unusual choice, and was no longer affiliate with the company when he was named to lead ABC News after the departure of longtime chief David Westin.