Paul Slavin Leaving ABC News after 33 years

By Chris Ariens 

Paul Slavin, Senior VP of Digital for ABC News, is leaving the network where he began almost 33 years ago as a desk assistant.

From his start at ABC News in 1979, Slavin rose from associate producer on “20/20”, to producer for “This Week with David Brinkley” and later “World News Tonight” to senior producer and finally, in 2000, executive producer of the Peter Jennings broadcast. In 2004 he was named Senior VP overseeing global news coverage. Three years later he took over digital operations —, ABC News Now, mobile and, most recently the network’s iPad app.

In a note to staff sent late today, ABC News president Ben Sherwood writes, “I have known Paul since we were both young producers here at ABC News and I have always admired his intelligence, news judgment and, of course, his dry humor.”

Slavin will stay on for a transitional period as a new Digital boss is named.

Sherwood’s note after the jump…

I want to let you know that Paul Slavin is leaving ABC News and I’d like to thank him for 33 years of distinguished service to the division.

Paul joined ABC News in 1978 as a desk assistant and rose steadily through the ranks to become a producer and senior producer at World News Tonight by 1988. Paul covered wars in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and the Gulf and was one of the first journalists to travel in the “forbidden zones” within the former U.S.S.R. Paul was in Berlin when the wall came down and is one of a few reporters to have traveled to the South Pole.

In 2000, Paul took the helm of World News Tonight with Peter Jennings as Executive Producer, a position he held until being named Senior Vice President – News, in 2004, where he oversaw global news coverage and helped make major changes that improved news coverage, better prepared us for Special Events and fostered better relationships with our affiliates.

In 2007, Paul took on a new challenge, steering our New Media operations to profitability and driving even greater usage and engagement for all of our digital properties including, ABC News Now, mobile offerings and our award-winning iPad application. Under Paul’s leadership, grew from 14th to the 7th most viewed news site. His team forged unique alliances with other companies such as Facebook and Yahoo! and positioned ABC NEWS as a central player in digital news.

Over the years, Paul has brought distinction to ABC News by winning many awards for his reporting and producing and for new products he has helped launch in the digital space.

On a personal note, I have known Paul since we were both young producers here at ABC News and I have always admired his intelligence, news judgment and, of course, his dry humor.

Paul has agreed to stay for a transitional period after which he will pursue a variety of professional opportunities that he was unable to explore given his full-time duties here.

Paul has been an important member of this organization for decades, and I know you’ll join me in wishing him the best of luck in all his future endeavors.