David Westin Resignation Reactions

By Alex Weprin 

Media reporters and critics from all over are weighing in on the departure of ABC News president David Westin. Some of their takes are below:

James Poniewozik, Time: “In the bigger sense, the person who would do a job like Westin’s today has to accept the none-too-exciting assignment of managing decline. There are growth opportunities in media today-God knows there’s only more and more media to consume-but that growth is not in the old glamour areas of mid-twentieth-century broadcast network news, with massive audiences, a high profile and extensive resources.”

Peter Lauria and Lloyd Grove, The Daily Beast: “At the company’s annual shareholder meeting this year, Iger gave ABC a perform-or-perish warning when he responded to a question about selling or spinning off ABC by noting that all of the company’s assets were subject to strategic review based on operating performance. Indeed, according to a veteran executive of ABC News, Iger and Sweeney assigned Westin to make a cable deal for ABC News, possibly to partner with CNN, but he never got talks off the ground.”


Bill Carter, The New York Times: “The ABC News staff member informed of the decision said that Disney and ABC managers had pressed Mr. Westin for years to make the division more profitable, but had been unhappy with his efforts to accomplish that goal. ABC announced in February that it would reduce its staff by up to 400 employees, about 25 percent of its work force.”

Joe Flint and Meg James, The Los Angeles Times: “Westin’s decision to leave will no doubt again spark speculation that ABC News will look to find a partner to help it better compete in the digital age. Over the years, ABC has flirted with Time Warner’s CNN about possibly creating a partnership, but those talks have never led to a deal. More recently, ABC has been linked to Bloomberg LP, the business news conglomerate that is looking to expand its reach.”

Howard Kurtz, The Washington Post: “Despite occasional rumors that the bosses in Los Angeles were unhappy with him, Westin proved to be a survivor — one who got to announce his departure on his own terms.”