Sources said that Godwin is being tapped to fill the position of James Goldston, who announced in January that he was stepping down as of March 31.
Godwin would be the first Black woman to run a broadcast network news operation. She currently serves as executive vice president of news for the network, with oversight of the national desks, foreign desks and bureaus. She joined the network in 2007, and served as executive director for development and diversity. She also was a senior broadcast producer for CBS Evening News.
Last year, the National Association of Black Journalists honored Godwin with the Ida B. Wells Award, given to those who provide distinguished leadership in increasing access and opportunities to people of color in journalism and improving the coverage of communities of color.
NBC News’ Dylan Byers first reported on Godwin’s selection. Spokespersons for ABC News and CBS News declined comment.
Goldston had been with the network for 17 years, and head of the news division since 2014. Peter Rice, chairman of general entertainment content for Disney, led the search. He established an office of the president in the interim, with a number of executives leading the news operations and oversight.
Godwin will join ABC News at a time of success with World News Tonight with David Muir, which has expanded its ratings lead and has topped all nightly newscasts in total viewers for the past five years.
Last year, the network grappled with the fallout of journalist Yashar Ali’s reporting on one of its top news executives, Barbara Fedida, who was accused of making racially insensitive remarks. She had been senior vice president of talent, editorial strategy and business affairs for the network, and the network announced that she would not be returning to her post following an investigation.
Godwin’s appointment will be the latest change atop a network news division. Last year, Cesar Conde succeeded Andrew Lack at NBC News, and Conde took on a new title as chairman of the NBCUniversal News Group. Earlier this year, Conde named Rashida Jones as the new president of MSNBC, succeeding Phil Griffin, who stepped down after more than 12 years. CNN’s Jeff Zucker announced plans to step down from the network at the end of this year.