Disney’s ABC News has been marred by death, scandals and a public relations nightmare
It’s been a tumultuous few months at the Disney-owned ABC News.
The news department has been rocked by a series of tragic deaths and public relations nightmares in recent weeks, with an extramarital affair involving “GMA3” co-hosts Amy Robach and TJ Holmes appearing as national tabloid fodder and “The View” co-host Whoopi. Goldberg doubling down on past Holocaust comments that had already been discontinued.
ABC News’ “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” executive producer Dax Tejera died suddenly last month, and his widow, Veronica Tejera, was arrested hours later and charged with child endangerment when it was revealed that the couple left two young children unattended in a hotel room. before his tragic death.
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Arguably the most high-profile scandal involving ABC News talent is the high-profile marital affair of Holmes and Robach, co-hosts of “GMA3,” a primetime noon extension network’s “Good Morning America” show.
The lovebirds are on the fringes awaiting an internal investigation as their infidelity continues to dominate business trends and tabloid news. But being taken off the air hasn’t stopped Rob and Holmes from putting on public displays of affection, and the New York Post recently published a video of them titled , “TJ Holmes and Amy Robach make out like teenagers on a Miami vacation.
ABC insiders initially insisted that Holmes and Robbie would not be disciplined for their relationship, but the couple then appeared to play down the scandal on December 2 when they joking about a “great week”. The following Monday, ABC News President Kim Godwin told staff that the “distraction” had become too important, and pulled them off the air “while we understand this.” .
Almost a month later, they stay off the air. ABC News did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Until Robach became tabloid fodder, she was probably best known as the ABC News anchor who was caught on a hot mic claiming that executives at the Disney-owned network refused to publish a story that would have exposed the sex offender who – now dead Jeffrey Epstein revealed three years earlier. was reported. ABC News downplayed the importance of the video at the time, telling Fox News Digital that Epstein’s story was inappropriate.
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Goldberg has been a source of headaches within the Mouse House, as “The View” co-host had little remorse for past rhetoric that landed her in hot water.
Last year, Goldberg went viral when she argued that the Holocaust is “not about race,” surprising her colleagues at the board. The “Sister Act” star insisted that the 6 million Jews who were systematically killed was more about “the inhumanity of man” because both the Jews and the Nazis were “groups white of people. “
ABC News suspended Goldberg for two weeks, but 10 months later she appeared to double down in an interview with British outlet The Sunday Times. Goldberg also stated that the Nazis targeted people of African descent as well as Jews because they were physically different, and Goldberg went so far as to say that Jews had an easier time mixing with white people and hiding from the Nazis what black people did during the Holocaust.
“You couldn’t tell a Jew on the street. You could find me. You couldn’t find them. That’s the point I was making,” Goldberg said. “But you would have thought I brought a big stinky old butt on the table, but naked.”
Despite her loyalty, she apologized again when her comments drew bipartisan ire.
For Tejera, the 37-year-old producer and family man dying suddenly of a heart attack is a tragedy, not a scandal. However, another ABC News-related tabloid nightmare emerged with news that his wife had been arrested after the couple left their two children – aged five months and two years – unattended the hotel room in New York the night he collapsed outside a hotel. a fancy steakhouse.
“We had two cameras trained on my children when they were sleeping, and I kept a close eye on them during the time I was away from them. Although the girls were harmless, I understand that It was a poor decision,” Tejera told the New York Post.
She is due in Manhattan Criminal Court on January 12, according to the Post.
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Amidst the drama affecting the network, ABC News legend Barbara Walters died last week at the age of 93. An ABC News insider believes that old footage of Walters that was used in tribute montages emphasizing how badly the network has fallen in recent years.
“The death of Barbara Walters is a reminder that ABC News, believe it or not, was once the gold standard of TV news. Unfortunately, he is now largely irrelevant and consumed by serious scandals involving his talent. Except Diane Sawyer, and she’s 77 and barely on the air anymore,” the insider told Fox News Digital.
In 2014, ABC News dedicated its headquarters to Walters, naming the landmark 47 West 66th Street the “Barbara Walters Building” in her honor with a glittering ceremony led by Disney CEO Bob Iger. In another sign that things have changed a lot over the past few years, the building has since been sold and is expected to be demolished and turned into luxury condos.
ABC News’ famous “assassin series” of superstar talent, assembled by the late Roone Arledge, is gone. Walters, Peter Jennings and David Brinkley are deceased. Ted Koppel left in 2005 after a disagreement with Disney over the future of “Nightline.” Diane Sawyer, once ABC News’ biggest star, has been largely sidelined after years of strained relations with ABC brass, and the 77-year-old now spends just a few hours hours of TV per year.
The current group of George Stephanopoulos, David Muir, Michael Strahan and Robin Roberts are respected in the industry, but they have been surpassed in recent weeks by the likes of Robach, Holmes and Goldberg.
Fox News’ Yael Halon contributed to this report.
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