David Westin's email to the staff casts his exit at the end of the year as a personal thing, but says the New York Times' Bill Carter, "one staff member informed before the release of the e-mail said tha the decision was also related to a long-running conflict between Mr. Westin and the management of the network, including ABC’s parent company, Walt Disney, over the financial standing of the news division." More analysis by The Wrap and Deadline Hollywood. Westin's email to the staff is after the jump.
Sent: Monday, September 06, 2010 8:46 PM
A month ago I told Bob Iger and Anne Sweeney that the time has come for me to step down as President of ABC News. Leading you has been a great privilege and a solemn responsibility -- a responsibility that I tried to fulfill for over thirteen years by doing what I believed was best for this important news organization. I will root for your continued success long after I am gone.
I’ve always admired those few who know when it’s time to move on. This is the right time for me. Over the last nine months, we’ve put in place new anchors on all of our programs. At the same time, we went through a very difficult transformation made necessary by changes in our business and its economics. I am confident ABC News is better positioned for the future than it has been at any time since I came here in March of 1997.
As rewarding as I’ve found my time here, there are some other things I want to do professionally -- things that I cannot explore while fulfilling my responsibilities here. I’m announcing my decision now so that I can pursue those possibilities, something I couldn’t do in fairness to all of you until I’d told you of my plans to step down. I have agreed to remain your leader through the end of the year to ensure that Anne has the time she needs to find the right successor and that there is an orderly transition. So, I’m not going anywhere for the time being. I will need your support during this interim period to make sure that we continue to move forward.
I have only the highest regard for the company of which we are a part, for its leadership, and most important for all of you. I am grateful for your letting me be part of this great organization for so long.