Ann Compton to Retire After 41 Years at ABC

By Merrill Knox 

ann comptonVeteran White House correspondent Ann Compton — who has covered seven presidents during her time at ABC News — will retire this fall, Politico Playbook reports this morning. She will officially retire September 10, 41 years to the day after she started at ABC News.

Allen rounds up some thoughts from Compton’s ABC News colleagues:

BEN SHERWOOD, co-president, Disney/ABC Television Group, calls Ann “the pride of Virginia … pioneer, ceiling shatterer, and radiant soul. Her stats read like Babe Ruth (7 presidents, 50 states, etc.) Our first reaction when she shared the news: ‘Say it ain’t so.’ Our next: ABC News has been blessed every single day since she first walked in the door in 1973. We love her, we thank her, we wish her the very best, and we know she’s going to have a blast with Dr. Hughes and her wonderful family. She will always have a home in our White House booth and ABC News.”


ROBIN SPROUL, ABC News Washington bureau chief: “She is a reporter of boundless energy who brings her A-game every day … She simply loves the beat. … She has a flair for storytelling, for capturing the day’s moments, and she knows as well as any other reporter in town how Washington works. … Ann is also a generous colleague who has helped many a new reporter covering the White House learn the ropes. … We will miss Ann so much. She is simply irreplaceable.”

>Update: Steve Jones, the vice president and general manager for ABC News Radio, sent the following note to the radio division about Compton this afternoon:

Last winter, Ann Compton raised a subject she’s hinted at before and that I’d previously managed to avoid: her retirement.   She told me how amazing it was being a new grandmother and suggested that, after 40-years at ABC News, perhaps it was time to transition to the next phase of her life.   I listened, smiled and told her we’d chat again, hoping she’d change her mind.  But, by the spring, it was clear to me that Ann was ready to leave the job she has loved so that she can spend more time with the people she loves: her wonderful family.

We have a date set in late September for us to celebrate Ann’s career in a setting that will let her friends and co-workers offer tributes and recollections about one of the most amazing women in journalism and one of the greatest friends and colleagues I have had the pleasure to work with.   For now, though, Ann has asked that she be allowed to continue reporting from the White House without distraction.   We’ll have plenty of time next month to celebrate her career express our admiration, appreciation and love.  sj