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Puck welcomes John Heilemann as its Chief Political Columnist!

Do You Believe in Godwin?

President of ABC News, Kim Godwin
Kim Godwin, president of ABC News. Photo: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images
Dylan Byers
March 31, 2023

Kim Godwin’s tenure as the president of ABC News has been marred, as readers of this column well know, by some internal revulsion regarding her leadership style. Formerly the second-ranking executive at CBS News, the perennial number three, her sudden ascent to what was once the most important executive position in broadcast journalism immediately left her vulnerable to suspicion among the grizzled ABC veterans who had elevated the news division to such exalted status. To some, it was sort of like the Yankees hiring the manager of the Blue Jays.

These veterans, some with more than three decades of experience at the network, prided themselves on a hard-working, hyper-competitive and sharp-elbowed culture—a culture that fueled ABC’s rise to number one, albeit with some hurt feelings and a little H.R. drama along the way. Godwin was hired with a mandate to impose collaboration and collegiality, to clean up what one source had described as “a wolf den.”