Former ABC News chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross & chief of investigative projects Rhonda Schwartz have landed on their feet after their controversial departure from ABC last month.
The duo is joining The Law & Crime Network, the 24/7 OTT live trial network created by veteran TV newser and ABC News chief legal analyst Dan Abrams. Ross and Schwartz will lead the network’s new investigative unit, launching next month.
Schwartz becomes executive investigative producer, and Ross will serve as chief investigative reporter and on-air host of new weekly original program, Brian Ross Investigates (also the name of his ABC News series). Both will contribute to all Law & Crime on-air and digital platforms.
“I worked with Brian and Rhonda for years, and there are no more celebrated and dogged investigative journalists in the country,” Abrams said in a statement. “We could not be more excited that they have agreed to join our network and team.”
“We’re delighted to join Dan and his team to help grow a vital 24/7 OTT and linear live network covering the biggest law and crime stories—issues that could not be more central now to what’s happening in our country,” Schwartz and Ross added in a joint statement. “ABC and NBC were great partners in the broadcast era. Now in the digital era, we are thrilled to become part of Law&Crime as the place to find news-making and important investigative reporting.”
Ross and Schwartz spent nearly 25 years at ABC News. Between them, the pair have been honored with seven duPonts, six Peabody’s, six Polks, the 2014 Harvard Goldsmith Prize and 17 Emmy Awards.
Their departure from ABC was controversial. Ross departed the company on July 2, which was seven months to the day after he began a four-week unpaid suspension for a “serious error in reporting” during early coverage of former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s guilty plea in the Russia probe.
When Ross returned from the suspension on Jan. 5, 2018, it was in a different capacity. He became ABC’s chief investigative correspondent (the “News” was removed from his title), and he moved from the ABC News headquarters down the street to the ABC-owned Lincoln Square Productions.