Susan Mercandetti is leaving ABC News to start her own media consulting company. Disney/ABC and Univision are among her first clients — as is Fusion, the digital TV SUSAN MERCANDETTInetwork that’s a joint venture between Disney/ABC and Univision; Mercandetti was instrumental in creating Fusion.

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When she rejoined ABC News in 2011 as VP Business Development, Mercandetti already had spent more than a decade at the division, as a producer for Good Morning America. Before that, she was a producer for Nightline from that late-night program’s inception during the Iran hostage crisis. She started a production company with Ted Koppel, and left ABC to go into print, as an editor at Vanity Fair and then at The New Yorker under Tina Brown. Moving to book publishing, she edited two books from Tim Russert, one with ABC News’ Bob Woodruff and one with Katie Couric.

From Disney/ABC TV president Ben Sherwood’s memo to staff:

I wanted to share some news about our colleague and friend Susan Mercandetti who recently let me know that she is leaving ABC News to start her own media consulting business. While I’m excited for Susan and confident that she will enjoy great success in this new venture, I am sad to see her leave our ranks.

In early 2011, as we planned a turnaround at ABC News, I invited Susan to join our senior team. She has been a trusted advisor, confidante and partner in every facet of our work. Most of all, she is a human reservoir of big ideas and inspiration and she has helped forge countless new partnerships, relationships and opportunities at ABC News.

Indeed, Susan was instrumental in the creation of Fusion; as our friend [Univision President of News] Isaac Lee says, it would not have happened without her. Over the past year, Susan participated in the Sulzberger fellowship program at Columbia University where executives work on exploring and fixing core challenges in their media organizations. As part of the program, Susan has taken on the important task of working with the editorial and advertising divisions at ABC News to identify and develop new ways to engage audiences.

Please join me in thanking Susan for her leadership, friendship, can-do spirit, and her wisdom and irresistible laughter that have lifted us through bad times and good.