Presidents of Major News Networks
New presidents were appointed to MSNBC and ABC last year—both made headlines for being the first Black women to lead major broadcast news networks. Jones was appointed president of MSNBC in February 2021, while Godwin assumed the presidency at ABC in April. Both faced big challenges at their respective networks. With ratings down at MSNBC, Jones has been vying to make MSNBC “the place where people go for hard news when news is happening,” she told The Daily Beast last June. In Godwin’s first few months at ABC, she, too, faced major difficulties. According to Variety, Godwin has had to deal with vacancies in producer positions of shows like Good Morning America and Nightline, taming The View and a lawsuit alleging that former producer Michael Corn sexually assaulted two ABC staff members. As of October, both ABC and Corn had requested to dismiss these charges. Although Jones and Godwin both face obstacles at their respective news companies, their appointments signal a sea change toward making news media more diverse.
“It feels like I’ve been preparing for this job my entire career, in fact, my entire life, and it led me to this incredible opportunity to make history, I’m humbled yet determined to make a difference by being a positive force in both cultural evolution and business impact.” – Kim Godwin