New Global Hires at ABC News

By Chris Ariens 

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Mark Greenblatt

ABC News has hired two new correspondents, brought back a third, and upped a fourth for posts around the world.

News president Ben Sherwood has hired Mark Greenblatt as a New York-based correspondent. Greenblatt joins from CBS affiliate KHOU in Houston where he was an investigative reporter. ABC is also bringing back into the fold Gloria Riviera, formerly a London correspondent who will now be based in Beijing. Riviera’s husband, former ABC Newsman Jim Sciutto just started his new job as chief of staff to U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke, (whose wife Mona Lee Locke, incidentally, is a former local TV news reporter).

ABC News has also hired Muhammad Lila from the CBC as the new Digital Correspondent for South Asia, based in Islamabad. And Kirit Radia, a one-time ABC News desk assistant who worked his way up to producing at the White House and State Department, has been named ABC’s new Digital Correspondent in Moscow.

Sherwood’s note after the jump…

From: Ben Sherwood
Sent: Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Subject: Greenblatt, Lila, Riviera, Radia

I’m writing with great news about our on air and digital teams:

Mark Greenblatt joins ABC News as a correspondent in New York and will file for all platforms. He comes to us from KHOU-TV where he worked for seven years as an investigative reporter, winning many awards including the duPont-Columbia, Peabody, National Headliner, National Emmy and two National Murrows.

Over the course of his career, Mark’s investigative reports have led newscasts at WBBH-TV in Fort Myers, FL; KOAA-TV in Colorado Springs, CO; and KOMU-TV in Columbia, MO.

Mark credits his considerable reporting gifts to his parents. His late father spoke 16 languages fluently, and worked in military intelligence before retiring to the civilian sector. His mother worked as a paralegal for much of her professional career and always kept her teaching license because of her love of English and writing.

While in Houston, Mark spent significant time volunteering with arts organizations and speaking to children about making a difference. He enjoys road cycling and recently completed the MS150, a 180-mile two-day ride from Houston to Austin. A native of Denver, Mark is an avid Boston Red Sox fan and looks forward to rooting for his team even when he lands in the Big Apple. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism.

Award-winning Canadian journalist Muhammad Lila joins ABC News as the new Digital Correspondent responsible for Pakistan, Afghanistan and the region. He will initially base in Islamabad and will file for all programs and platforms. Muhammad comes to us from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in Toronto where he has been an anchor and reporter since 2008. Over the past several years, he has traveled the world, reporting from the Himalayas, Syria, Haiti and Mecca, Saudi Arabia. He is also among the youngest to anchor The Nation, CBC’s flagship newscast.

Prior to joining CBC News, he was an anchor and reporter for Toronto’s top-rated news channel CP24 and for CityTV. Muhammad is a graduate of the University of Toronto and the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University.

Muhammad’s background is as diverse as his reporting. Born and raised in Toronto, his parents are from East Africa and South Asia. He is fluent in English and Gujarati; conversational in Urdu; and is studying Arabic.

Muhammad loves taking photographs and writing about travel, which should come in handy in this new position. He once hitch-hiked out of Iraq in the backseat of a truck filled with exotic animals.

Gloria Riviera is rejoining ABC News as a Digital Correspondent based in Beijing. For several years starting in 2006, Gloria was as a London-based correspondent for ABC NewsOne and then ABC News, contributing to Nightline, Good Morning America, the weekend edition of World News and all other ABC News platforms. She originally joined the ABC News team in 1999 as Sam Donaldson’s assistant and was named a correspondent in 2004.

During her time at ABC News, she has reported and produced a wide variety of major stories around the world, most recently covering the global financial crisis from London, the 2006 Lebanon War from Jerusalem and the Iraq war from Baghdad, including an embed with the 3rd Infantry Division in Fallujah and a focus on women’s role in the new Iraq.

A term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Gloria says this is a “dream assignment.” She is also looking forward to hearing her two little boys speak some Mandarin.

Prior to joining ABC News, she worked for BBC News in New York while completing her Masters degree in Communications on academic scholarship at New York University. She was awarded a US Department of Education-Fulbright fellowship to study in Spain and the RIAS fellowship to study in Berlin. She received her B.A. in English from Princeton University where she played left wing on the Women’s Varsity Ice Hockey team.

Gloria has completed several marathons and half marathons around the world to raise money for a variety of cancer-related charities. She is an avid outdoor enthusiast and often finds herself in a kayak, on a snowboard or attempting to summit a mountain.

Kirit Radia is our new Digital Correspondent based in Moscow. For nearly six years, Kirit has been an invaluable contributor to ABC News, breaking major stories while covering the State Department. He has followed the Secretaries of State and Defense to nearly two dozen countries. He has also covered the White House and Treasury Department during the transition between President Bush and President Obama, and has backed up ABC’s Pentagon coverage.

Kirit started his professional career as a desk assistant, and then moved on to the Nightline production staff in Washington.

Kirit is a proud New Jersey native and a graduate of Tufts University’s International Relations program with a focus on Europe and the Former Soviet Union studies. An avid traveler who loves learning languages, he is fluent in Spanish, is studying Russian (in preparation for the new job), and still remembers some of the Chinese he studied in college.

A die-hard Phillies fan, his decision to leave the country may or may not have been aided by their collapse in last year’s playoffs.

Please join me in congratulating all of our colleagues on their new roles.