ABC News Hires CDC Doctor, Expands Medical Coverage

By Andrew Gauthier 

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Associated Press

ABC News has hired a top government doctor as part of an expansion of its medical coverage.

Dr. Richard Besser, who was acting director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when the swine flu epidemic began earlier this year, will join the network as senior health and medical editor.

ABC also promoted its longtime health commentator, Dr. Timothy Johnson, to chief medical editor. Johnson is a regular on “Good Morning America,” “World News,” Nightline” and “20/20.”

“Over 30 years, Dr. Tim has established himself as the leading on-air authority for all things related to health and medicine,” most recently on health care reform, says a statement from ABC News President David Westin. Besser “proved his mettle as a highly effective communicator of health issues” during swine flu and will be a strong addition, the statement says.

Besser, 49, a pediatrician, plans to report on obesity, flu and other public health issues for multiple programs starting in September. More…