Koppel Exits: Squeeze Play

By Brian 

Finally, someone says it:

“Officially, Koppel left Nightline voluntarily. Unofficially, he was elbowed out by ABC News president David Westin.”

Meryl Gordon, New York

The piece includes a dialogue with Koppel about Westin’s proposal (go live five nights a week):

  But I thought this was a squeeze play, I say. “I got the impression they gave you an offer–“

He interrupts, “–that they knew I wouldn’t accept?”

“Wasn’t that done to get you to leave?” I ask.

“You’ll have to ask David.”

“What did you think?”

“I’m not a stupid guy,” Koppel says. “I have long understood what the pressures are that cause people up the line at Disney to say, ‘Could we be making a lot more money if we didn’t have a news program?’ David confronts the issue of ‘How do I best keep Nightline alive?’ I’m not the easiest guy in the world to convince that you need to be doing the program a different way.”

Here’s the full story…

(Photo by David Burnett, New York)