Jon Banner Leaves ABC News, TV News Business

By Alex Weprin 

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ABC News senior executive producer Jon Banner is leaving ABC News after more than 25 years at the company. Banner is leaving the TV news business altogether, joining beverage and snack behemoth PepsiCo as senior VP of global strategy and planning.

“On a personal level, I’ve known Jon since around the time we both started out in this business,” ABC News president Ben Sherwood wrote in a note to staff this morning. “I’ve always valued his friendship and admired his news judgment and competitive drive.  For the last couple of years, he has been a wise counselor and steady hand.”

Banner was named EP of “ABC World News” in 2003, leaving to take on a division-wide role in 2011. Later that year he added oversight of “This Week.”

Marc Burstein is taking over Banner’s political duties and oversight of “This Week,” until a replacement is named.

Sherwood’s note, and the press release from Pepsi, after the jump.

I’m writing with news about our good friend and one of our longest-serving and most accomplished colleagues, Jon Banner.

Jon came to me recently with a great opportunity outside the news business that he simply could not refuse.

After more than 25 years with ABC News — more than half his life — Jon will be leaving this Sunday to take a senior role at one of America’s great multinational companies. See attached.

For nearly a decade at ABC, Jon led World News through wars, natural disasters, terror attacks, presidential elections and everything in between.  Guiding the transitions of four anchors in five years, Jon led the program to new heights and helped hold the team together in challenging times.

Earlier this year, when I asked Jon to add This Week to his portfolio, he took on the assignment with characteristic determination and fighting spirit.  The broadcast is now in its best competitive position in years, gaining momentum as we head into the most important months of the 2012 campaign.

Across Jon’s tenure at ABC News, he has won every award for journalistic excellence.

On a personal level, I’ve known Jon since around the time we both started out in this business.  I’ve always valued his friendship and admired his news judgment and competitive drive.  For the last couple of years, he has been a wise counselor and steady hand.

We will miss him mightily.

Going forward, Senior Executive Producer Marc Burstein will captain our political coverage in addition to Special Events and until a new executive producer is named, Marc will assume that role on This Week.

Please join me in thanking Jon for his leadership over the years and wishing him the very best luck in this new chapter.


From PepsiCo:

Jon Banner Joins PepsiCo’s Global Communications Team asSenior Vice President, Global Strategy and Planning

PURCHASE, N.Y. – August 21, 2012 – PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE: PEP) announced todaythat Jon Banner has been named senior vice president, global strategy and planning.Banner will be a senior member of PepsiCo’s global communications team responsiblefor synchronizing, coordinating and planning the company’s communications effortsworldwide and partnering with PepsiCo’s business units to support key business priorities.

Banner has extensive corporate media strategy and planning experience, has been apioneer in the digital media space, and has a strong financial and business managementbackground, all of which will be central to his new role at PepsiCo.
Banner joins PepsiCo from ABC News where he spent more than two decades and earned15 Emmy Awards. Among other roles at the organization, he most recently served assenior executive producer of division-wide initiatives. He led the rebranding of ABC’snews division, and in that effort oversaw several teams including marketing, networkresearch and promotion. Banner also helped lead the financial restructuring of ABC’s entire news division, and worked to innovate business practices across all programs and platforms of ABC.

“Jon is a seasoned professional and will be an outstanding addition to the PepsiCo communications team,” said PepsiCo’s executive vice president of communications Jim Wilkinson. “He has a unique understanding of today’s global communications landscape and has a proven track record of developing smart communications strategies across allforms of media to help achieve business objectives.”

Prior to his most recent position at ABC, Banner was the executive producer of “ABC’sWorld News” from June 2003 until 2011, distinguishing himself as the youngest producer appointed to run the evening news in ABC’s history. In this role, Banner oversaw several hundred employees around the world and controlled all editorial, creative and financialaspects of the network’s flagship broadcast.

Previously, Banner held a number of other senior editorial positions with ABC News,including senior broadcast producer of “ABC’s World News Tonight with Peter Jennings”and senior producer of “Good Morning America” news segments.

Earlier in his career, Banner ran ABC News’ Dallas bureau and was also an operationsproducer for “This Week with David Brinkley.” He began his career in 1989 as a desk assistant for “World News Tonight” in New York.
Banner earned his Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University.