ABC News taps Coffey

Former L.A. Times editor fills exec veep post

ORLANDO — ABC News confirmed Monday it has hired Shelby Coffey III, the former editor of the Los Angeles Times, as executive vice president.

The widely expected appointment came the same day, Monday, that ABC News president David Westin took over day-to-day management of ABC’s news division.

On Friday, ABC News chairman Roone Arledge said he was stepping down from running the division he has headed since 1977. Arledge, 66, will keep his title and continue to consult on major issues.

Coffey, who began his new job on Monday, is responsible for new business development, ABC News Productions, cable program development, ABC News online activities and international, in addition to other editorial responsibilities. Coffey reports directly to Westin.

Coffey joins ABC News with extensive experience in print journalism but none in television news. His most recent job was the editor and executive vice president of the Los Angeles Times from 1989 to 1997. Coffey joined the newspaper in 1986 as deputy associate editor and in 1988 was named executive editor.

Prior to joining the Times, Coffey was senior VP and editor of the Dallas Times Herald. Previously, he was editor of U.S. News & World Report.

Coffey began his journalism career as a sports reporter for the Washington Post. In his 17 years there, he held a variety of positions, including Style section editor, deputy managing editor for features and assistant managing editor for national news.

Coffey and his family will relocate to the New York area.