Walt Disney’s ABC News laid off several senior executives on Thursday, as it restructures its newsroom, two sources confirmed.
The reductions are part of Disney’s previously announced plan to cut 7,000 positions across the company as it seeks to control costs and become a more streamlined operation.
The layoffs began this week, affecting other facets of Disney’s operations, including its Marvel Entertainment division, television production and those working on next-generation storytelling initiatives.
ABC News President Kim Godwin announced the downsizing and restructuring in a memo to staff that was seen by Reuters.
About 50 jobs will be eliminated over time, including open positions.
“While these actions are never easy, they are a necessary step to ensure we’re on solid footing for the years ahead as we chart a sustainable, growth-oriented path forward for the entire organization,” Godwin wrote.
Among those to lose their jobs in the restructuring were Wendy Fisher, senior vice president of news gathering; Galen Gordon, senior vice president of talent; Alison Rudnick, vice president of corporate communications; and David Herndon, executive director and Los Angeles bureau chief.
Godwin named London bureau chief Katie den Daas as vice president of newsgathering, overseeing domestic and international teams. The business and operations team will expand to include talent, production and business affairs, reporting to ABC News Executive Vice President Derek Medina. Stacia Deshishku, executive editor and senior vice president of News, will assume responsibility for the investigative and enterprise reporting unit.
“While this is a difficult time for all of us – particularly those directly affected by these tough decisions – it’s important to remember that together, we are resilient, and will emerge from this period of transition stronger than before,” Godwin wrote.
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