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Alphabet rewrites news team to free up Westin

ABC News to be digital news-gathering org

NEW YORK — Amid a restructuring of the ABC News senior management team, veterans Bob Murphy, Phyllis McGrady and Paul Friedman have been named to newly created positions, ABC News president David Westin announced Wednesday.

The changes are intended to free Westin up from daily responsibilities to focus on long-term plans for the net’s news division, such as the transition to multimedia.

“For the first 18 months I’ve been in charge here, it was important for me to be involved in all parts of organization directly,” Westin said. “But, the time has come now for me to bring in some highly qualified help from my colleagues to take over some of the day-to-day operations.”

Murphy now senior VP

Murphy has been named to the newly created position of senior VP of multimedia. A 24-year veteran of ABC News, Murphy will be responsible for transforming ABC News from a traditional broadcast news org to a digital news-gathering org, producing content on a variety of platforms, including broadcast, cable, Internet, broadband and wireless.

“The creation of the senior VP for multimedia is particularly important for ABC News,” Westin said. “We recognize that to be as successful in the next generation as we have been in the last, we must move beyond our traditional base of television.”

In his recent position of senior VP for hard news, Murphy has had editorial, operational and budget responsibilities for all hard news operations of the division, including coverage and programming. Murphy will continue to oversee ABCNews.com, ABC News Radio and ABC NewsOne, the net’s affiliate news service.

McGrady upped

Phyllis McGrady has been named to the newly created position of senior VP, primetime, early morning and news program development. McGrady, who was most recently VP and exec producer of special programming for ABC News, has also been the executive-in-charge of “Good Morning America” since January 1999.

In her new role, McGrady will oversee “20/20,” “GMA,” “Peter Jennings Reporting” specials, the John Stossel specials, and all news program development for ABC. Grady was one of the exec producers of “ABC 2000,” the news division’s millennium eve program. Previously, she served as exec producer of the newsmags “PrimeTime Live” and “Turning Point.” McGrady joined ABC in 1977.

Friedman exec VP news

Paul Friedman, exec producer of “World News Tonight With Peter Jennings,” has been named to the newly created position of exec VP and managing editor for news coverage, ABC News. He will continue in his post at “World News” until his successor is named. In his new position, he will have responsibility for all news programming (except “Nightline”) and all newsgathering.

Friedman will oversee “World News Tonight,” “World News Saturday and Sunday,” “World News Now,” “World News This Morning,” “Good Morning America’s” news inserts, and special events; as well as the national and foreign news desks and all bureaus, both domestic and international.

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