ABC News announces new roles in ‘Live,’ audio and long form divisions

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ABC News has announced staffing changes within its ABC News Live, ABC Audio and ABC News Long Form divisions.

David Hatcher has been named the executive producer for live morning programming.

Eric Johnson will move into the role as director and executive producer of podcast programming, while Mike Kelley has been named vice president of platforms within the long form division.

Here is the memo announcing Hatcher’s new role from Justin Dial, ABC News Live senior executive producer.


I’m excited to share with you that David Hatcher starts with ABC News Live today as Executive Producer and will be responsible for building out and overseeing our morning news programming block, including breaking news, weekdays from 6am-12pm ET.

This role is a return for David to the Disney/ABC family. He began his New York journalism career at WABC, where he produced Eyewitness News This Morning from 5:30am to 7:00 am Monday to Friday in the mid-90s.

David joins us from BuzzFeed. He spent the last year as Executive Producer of their morning news show AM2DM on Twitter. He is a creative visionary who understands the morning audience’s news consumption across all age groups, demographics and platforms.

With over 30 years of experience in television news and entertainment, David held leadership roles at WCBS and WNBC during coverage of some of the nation’s biggest breaking news stories including 9/11, the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook, Superstorm Sandy – for which his work helped win local and national Emmy awards and a Murrow award – and the terrorist bombing attacks in New Jersey and in Manhattan in 2016. While Assistant News Director at WBZ in Boston, David was part of the team that took the station’s 11pm show to number 1 for the first time in 15 years.

David has an unequivocal passion for storytelling and a distinct eye for streaming news programming, which will be a huge advantage as we grow. I’m excited to see what he and the team he builds will create in the coming months.

Please join me in welcoming David to ABC News Live.

Justin (Dial, ABC News Live senior executive producer)

Meanwhile, ABC Audio Vice President and General Manager Stacia Philips Deshishku issued a separate memo about Johnson’s new position.


I am excited to announce that Eric Johnson will join ABC Audio as the new Director and Executive Producer of Podcast Programming beginning mid-March.

Eric is an award-winning producer with a knack for storytelling who’s touched nearly every part of ABC News over his 13 year career here. His strong relationships throughout the news division, coupled with his impressive experience in long form and news programming, will make him a great asset to our flourishing podcast division. In his new role Eric will build on the success of our existing podcasts and help design a fresh powerhouse podcast network. He will strategically gather and organize podcast ideas and harness the talent, resources and storytelling ability available across ABC News and Walt Disney Television.

Most recently Eric served as Senior Broadcast Producer at Good Morning America, where he was a vital part of the first hour leadership team. Since Eric joined ABC News he’s traveled the globe – from the Amazon jungle, to the slums of Caracas and the refugee camps in Jordan – to tell some of the most important, adventurous and enterprising stories of our time working with 20/20, ABC News Digital, GMA and Nightline. He won a duPont Award as co-producer of Diane Sawyer’s critically acclaimed interview with Caitlyn Jenner and multiple Emmy Awards for projects including his role as senior producer of ABC News’ Town Hall “The President and the People: Race in America.” Eric’s work also extends outside ABC’s walls. He co-produced the PBS documentary “Return to the Wild” and was senior producer for “Shining a Light: Conversations on Race in America,” produced in conjunction with A&E Networks.

Each day I see how hard our incredibly talented podcast teams work as they build our growing podcast roster. Over the years we’ve had great success creating award-winning, smart programming, including The Dropout, Start Here, Ten Percent Happier, Truth and Lies: Jeffrey Epstein, Have You Seen This Man? and much more. Eric will help us continue to expand and evolve as we forge into the future. I can’t wait to see what’s next.

Please join me in congratulating Eric and welcoming him to the ABC Audio family.


Kelly’s new role was announced via this memo from ABC News Long Form Senior Vice President Beth Hoppe.


I am pleased to announce today that Mike Kelley is joining us in ABC News Long Form as Vice President, Platforms. Reporting to me and working closely with Roxanna Sherwood, Mike will be responsible for the business strategy of our long form documentaries and docu-series that we will distribute to partners in the Disney television and streaming ecosystem.

Mike joins us from ITV Studios Global Distribution, where he was Senior Vice President of Sales, Americas. He led the team responsible for the sale of ITV content produced outside of the United States to buyers in the U.S., Canada and Latin America. Mike was also responsible for partnering with broadcasters, cable channels and streaming on-demand platforms to co-produce or acquire scripted and factual series and specials including World on FireGold DiggerBrassic and The War of the Worlds.

Prior to ITV Mike spent a decade at PBS, where he held executive level positions in programming, business affairs and content operations. He led the development and execution of a content strategy that produced multiple consecutive years of growth in ratings and on digital platforms, taking PBS from the 12th most watched network in America to the 5th. He also led the Business Affairs team that was responsible for negotiating all content deals across prime time and kids programming. During Mike’s tenure PBS launched new series and specials including The Great British Baking ShowMercy StreetFinding Your Roots with Skip Gates, We’ll Meet Again with Ann Curry, No Passport Required and Call the Midwife.

Mike is a multi-talented media executive with an impeccable track record, and I’m excited to have him bolster the Long Form group’s business and content distribution strategy.

Please join me in giving a warm welcome to Mike.