ABC News president Kim Godwin is accused of using layoffs as payback against staffers who she believed were leaking stories about her. Multiple sources claim that the cost-cutting move was vindictive, targeted and mean, and the names of those laid off ended up in media reports almost immediately after they were let go. Godwin has denied the allegations, however, some staffers are said to be living in a “culture of fear and paranoia” as more layoffs are expected to be announced later this month.
ABC News president Kim Godwin is accused of targeting her detractors with the company’s first round of layoffs, which were seen as vindictive and personal, in an effort to find out who was leaking stories about her at the network.
Recent layoffs at ABC News have stirred up controversy within the company, with some staffers claiming that the move was “personal” and an attempt to silence those who were suspected of leaking stories about ABC News president Kim Godwin. The company, which is part of Disney, announced a plan to cut 7,000 jobs, including 50 at ABC News. Several senior executives were among those let go, prompting speculation that Godwin was targeting those who were not on her side or those who might be vying for her job.
One source claimed that the layoffs were part of an effort to identify who was responsible for leaking information and to make an example of them. However, a third source denied these allegations and insisted that the company acted fairly. Godwin, who was appointed as ABC News president in 2021, has been the target of media reports and criticism since taking over the role from James Goldston.
The controversy comes after a scandal hit “Good Morning America” last year, which saw former “GMA3” anchors T.J. Holmes and Amy Robach’s off-screen affair being revealed. Godwin was criticized for her handling of the scandal, but she recently told Vanity Fair that she is “very comfortable” with the decision to cut ties with the two anchors. The article also claimed that ABC launched an internal investigation to find out who was leaking details of the scandal to the press.
The decision to lay off certain executives was seen by some as a move to demonstrate support for Godwin. However, some insiders fear that the layoffs have created a “culture of fear and paranoia” at ABC News. The company has not yet commented on the matter, but it is rumored that more layoffs will be announced in the coming weeks.
In spite of the controversy, Godwin’s focus appears to be on bringing about cultural changes at ABC News. She was reportedly brought in as a “change agent” to address issues within the company, and has spoken publicly about the importance of confidentiality in organizations. However, it remains to be seen whether the recent layoffs and the manner in which they were handled will have a lasting impact on the company’s culture and reputation.