Following the announcement that Jones would be leaving ABC Radio for Skyview, ABC News President James Goldston sent this very nice note to the ABC news division. The company will start a search to fill Jones’ position, however, as Goldston points, out the division is in the capable hands of Andrew Kalb, Abe Velez, Heidi Oringer, and Jeff Fitzgerald.
“I am writing to share some bittersweet news about Steve Jones. After more than three decades at ABC News, he has decided to take a new position at Skyview Networks as president and chief operating officer.
“Steve’s passion for the radio business and his dedication to the radio team are well known. Under his leadership, the ABC News Radio team has been recognized with dozens of awards for its journalism, including the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award multiple times for news coverage, Peabody Awards for Superstorm Sandy coverage, and while Steve was leading abcnews.com, for coverage of the 9/11 terror attacks.
“In 2014, Steve led the radio division as it relaunched its business, building a new network of over 1,650 affiliates from the ground up in just under 4 months. ABC News Radio reaches over 72 million listeners weekly. He’s played a big role in shaping our successful podcast portfolio. He understood the opportunity presented by digital audio early on to reach new listeners and tell compelling stories in new and innovative ways. Today, the reach and popularity of our podcasts continues to grow, including The Dropout, The Investigation, Start Here, and Journeys of Faith, launching in the last year alone.
“We’ll post the role for a new executive to lead the radio division shortly. In the meantime I’m confident we are in extremely capable hands with the leaders at ABC News Radio Andrew Kalb, Abe Velez, Heidi Oringer, and Jeff Fitzgerald.
“Steve’s last day is April 5 but even when he moves on to Skyview, Steve will be involved in our radio business since Skyview is the sales representative and distribution partner for ABC News Radio. Below is Steve’s note to the radio team about his departure.
“Please join me in thanking him for his many contributions and wishing him well in this new venture.
Here’s a copy of the note Steve sent to the ABC team:
“I want to share with you that I am leaving ABC News to accept a leadership position with our business partners at Skyview Networks. This decision was reached after very careful consideration and consultation both with Skyview and ABC News — two organizations I care deeply about. In the end, the opportunity to help lead the growth and expansion at Skyview convinced me to take the position of president and chief operating officer, reporting to CEO and co-founder Ken Thiele. Thankfully, I will still have a working relationship with ABC News Radio since Skyview and ABC News have an agreement through 2026. My last day at ABC News will be Friday, April 5th.
“I will leave the ABC News Radio business in a position of strength as the dominant radio news brand in America. Our digital audio programming has shown continual growth and success. The audio industry respects and admires us because of your incredible talent and dedication to this important work. Your reporting is more necessary and essential to our society than ever before.
“On a personal note, I have been provided with the most extraordinary career for which I cannot be more appreciative. For 31 years, ABC News has been the center of my professional life and a constant presence in my personal life, too. From my initial days in 1986 as a freelance ABC News Radio writer, then moving up to producer and director followed by three years as VP, Programming and Operations of abcnews.com and, finally, leading the very news brand that inspired me as a young man: ABC News Radio.
“I have awakened every day excited for the challenge, grateful for the opportunity and inspired by your passion and intelligence. I have tried to lead with integrity and empathy, even when business required difficult decisions. I leave ABC with great pride in our success and the knowledge that this incredible team will continue our legacy of excellence. I’m thankful to have made such a deep network of friends and colleagues across this industry and this news division, people who have supported me many times. I look forward to thanking you personally.
“During this transition period, it will be business as usual for you with the executive team for whom I have much gratitude: Andrew Kalb handling news coverage/digital programming; Abe Velez handling business development; Heidi Oringer handling affiliate relations/sales; Jeff Fitzgerald overseeing operations.
With appreciation and admiration,