ABC News President Kim Godwin resigns

The executive, who became the first black woman to run a broadcast network news operation three years ago, announced that she will retire from broadcast journalism to focus on her family.

Kim Godwin, the president of ABC News, announced her resignation this Sunday. The executive, who became the first black woman to manage a broadcast network news operation three years ago, reported in a statement to her employees that she is not only leaving the company but will also retire from broadcast journalism to focus on her family:

After matriculating through j-school at my beloved Florida A&M University, I have been fortunate and blessed enough to have done almost every job there is in this business, including anchor, investigative reporter, news director, field producer, network/special events executive producer and more before moving on to the executive ranks. (...) I have decided to retire from broadcast journalism. Anyone who’s passionate about what we do knows there’s no other business like it, so this was not an easy or quick decision. But after considerable reflection, I’m certain it’s the right one for me as I look to the future and prioritize what’s most important for me and my family.

Who will replace Kim Godwin?

The news, which was reported in a Wall Street Journal exclusive, comes at a difficult time for both Godwin and the network. Variety reported that she has been questioned about the way she was managing some of the network's flagship news programs such as Good Morning America or World News Tonight. For this reason, ABC decided two months ago to appoint Debra O'Connell as Godwin's superior and the president was forced to report to O'Connell.

According to Variety, she is considered by the Walt Disney Company, owner of ABC, as a valuable operator for the company, as well as a business veteran. O'Connell will replace her "for the time being" as president of ABC. O'Connell issued her own statement praising the work that Godwin did for the television network: "Kim has navigated this team through consequential times in our world, and she did so with respect for the brand and profession — and for that and more, we thank her."

Kim Godwin also issued a statement. She said she was leaving the network with a sense of pride knowing that a "cultural shift" had begun where "people can be their authentic selves":

Together, we committed to a cultural shift, where people could be their authentic selves, feeling seen and heard, while doing their best work. For all these reasons and more, I depart ABC News and this profession with the sincerest sense of pride, accomplishment and gratitude. My heart is filled.