Blog Post

Digital Head Paul Slavin Leaving ABC News

The clock has been ticking for Paul Slavin at ABC (NYSE: DIS) News since it was clear that he wouldn’t get the top job following David Westin’s departure. That went to Ben Sherwood instead, an ABC News alum who left twice and came back a third time, rather than Slavin, who stuck around for 33 years, or other possible internal candidates.

Sherwood, appointed president of ABC News late last year, announced Slavin’s departure via a staff memo late Friday afternoon that mentioned his role in ABC’s new media efforts. From the memo:

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! (NSDQ: YHOO) and positioned ABC News as a central player in digital news.

Slavin, SVP of ABC News Digital, was a senior exec for most of Westin’s tenure. Westin’s post-ABC News gig was unveiled Thursday; he’s heading AP’s new News Licensing Group. No announcements from Slavin yet. He’s at ABC News 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.”

What’s next for digital at ABC News? Digitial News VP Jon Dube took the buyout in last year’s massive re-org
and a trio of execs took on various roles, including Elizabeth Barrett as VP-Mobile, Broadband, and Operations for ABC News Digital.

It took months for Disney to announce Sherwood as the successor to Westin but I don’t expect this to take nearly as long. Look for more news from ABC News soon.