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ABC News bolsters int’l plan

Net brings in fresh faces, reassigns others

ABC News is bringing in some fresh faces and reassigning others, deepening its international coverage.

The Alphabet is sending three digital correspondents further abroad: Canadian journo Muhammad Lila is headed to Pakistan for his first assignment with ABC News, where he will file from Islamabad on that country, Afghanistan and the surrounding region; Gloria Riviera will move from London to Beijing; and Kirit Radia, who previously covered the U.S. State Department, is headed to Moscow.

The division announced similar hires in November, bringing on Kelly Cobiella in London and Bazi Kanani in Nairobi — all are experienced journos and all are in areas with existing ABC News presence. Given the tepid primary season, politics may not reign supreme this year, and 2011’s glut of high-profile foreign stories have given every TV news operation a reason to boost international newsgathering.

ABC is also bringing on Mark Greenblatt from affiliate KHOU, where he worked as an investigative reporter and won awards including a national Emmy award. Greenblatt will relocate to Gotham from Houston.

News division prexy Ben Sherwood announced the hires/reassignments on Tuesday. The Alphabet’s news division has been the subject of much scrutiny as it brings on Katie Couric, moves Christiane Amanpour back to international, and returns George Stephanopoulos to “This Week.”

With that kind of change afoot and new branding just rolled out, staffing up can only be a good sign at a division that underwent large-scale layoffs not long ago.

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