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Julie Townsend leaves ABC News as communications manager – Deadline

Julie Townsend is leaving ABC News after seven years as head of its communications team.

Townsend will accept a job outside of the media sector, but the position has not yet been disclosed. She will be with the network until May 14.

“Julie has been a loyal and passionate ABC News champion throughout her time here,” said Derek Medina, executive vice president of the news division, in an email to staff. “She has helped launch new programs and strategic initiatives, celebrated every milestone in the news division, and has been a trusted advisor to me and to many of us.”

Shannon Ryan, president of marketing at ABC Entertainment & Disney Television Studios, and Charissa Gilmore, vice president of corporate communications for Disney General Entertainment, will help lead the team until a successor is named, said Medina.

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Townsend said she had “accepted an exciting new opportunity outside of news to lead global consumer communications at an iconic US company. I can’t give you the details until it’s officially announced, but I look forward to doing it ASAP. “

“Working with all of you has been the funniest and most rewarding experience of my professional life,” she wrote in a note to staff. “It was not an easy decision to make, especially knowing that a new president of ABC News will start in a few weeks.

“But one of the things I love about working in the news is the opportunity to learn new things. an entirely different industry. It was just too beautiful and fascinating an opportunity to pass up.

Kim Godwin, a former senior executive at CBS News, was recently named the new news division chairman following the resignation of James Goldston.

Townsend’s full memo is below:

Team,

As you know, I always prefer to keep the spotlight on others – ideally your great work and the incredible, tireless reporting that goes right on ABC News.

But today I have news from me. I accepted an exciting new opportunity outside of news to lead global consumer communications at an iconic American company. I can’t give you the details until it’s officially announced, but I look forward to doing it ASAP.

Working with all of you has been the funniest and most rewarding experience of my professional life. It wasn’t an easy decision to make, especially knowing that a new ABC News president will start in a few weeks.

But one of the things I’ve loved about working in the news is the opportunity to learn new things – and now, after the last decade at ABC News and 14 across the company, i am fortunate to learn a brand new business in an entirely different industry. It was just too beautiful and fascinating an opportunity to pass up.

I will be here until May 14th. I will leave confident in this team to continue as you have always done. You are an amazing group of generous, intelligent, kind and creative public relations professionals – and your good humor, dedication and optimism inspires me every day. I know you will continue to do an incredible job. I am personally grateful to Shannon Ryan and Zenia Mucha for their support and mentorship. I have been fortunate to learn from the best of my entire stay here.

I wish Kim and all of our leaders great success in this next chapter in ABC News’ 75-year history. I will always be a cheerleader and a believer in the mission, purpose and people of ABC News – as a member of the team for a few more weeks and as a viewer, listener, reader and fan of long since then.

Four presidential elections, countless game-changing interviews and front page exclusives, over 100 staff announcements, nearly 200 daily reads, 2 children, 1 dog, 2 cats and # 1 in the morning, day, evening, late night, prime time, weekends, special events, overnight stays, radio, streaming, social and podcasts. I have had the great honor of serving ABC News and being part of this amazing team that works so hard to deliver news and information that people can count on. Thanks for every minute.

Julie

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