Kim Godwin has been named the new president of ABC News. She is the first Black woman to lead the network’s news division.
Godwin previously served as the Executive Vice President of CBS News, where she worked since 2007, ABC News reported.
She ran local broadcast news operations in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and Cleveland.
In this role, she replaces James Goldston, who announced his departure in January.
ABC News cut ties with its executive in charge of talent and recruitment after an investigation revealed she made racist comments.
Rick Kaplan, a former colleague of Godwin’s who worked with her at CBS, praised ABC’s decision to hire her.
“She’s not coming in there thinking everything needs to be saved. ABC doesn’t need saving, like CBS didn’t need saving. She has respect for the institution. Every network has its own culture, and if you don’t have respect for the culture,” it can be trouble, he told ABC News.
The National Association of Black Journalists, who awarded Godwin with the Ida B. Wells Award in November, released a statement celebrating Godwin’s historic achievement.
✅First Black President and First Black Woman to Head ABC News!
✅First Black Executive and Black Woman to Head a Broadcast Network News Operation!
— NABJ Headquarters (@NABJ) April 15, 2021
“This historic announcement shows what we at NABJ have always known: there are Black executives more than capable of taking the reins of a network operation. We hope this move sends a clear signal to other networks,” said Ken Lemon, NABJ Vice President-Broadcast.
Godwin said her new role is a testament to the Black journalists before her who helped pave the way.
“The significance of this appointment is not lost on me,” Godwin said. “I stand on the shoulders of giants in journalism who paved the way as members of NABJ. I was mentored by many in this organization and have therefore made it my business to mentor many as I’ve come along. I’m looking forward to joining the extraordinary team at ABC News and excited about what we can accomplish together. “
Godwin also serves on the chair of the board of visitors at Florida A&M University’s journalism school, where she obtained her degree.