*After 17 seasons under ABC’s Daytime realm, “The View” is being taken over by ABC News’ non-fiction programming group, with its new head James Goldston charged with overseeing the program, according to a staff memo sent out on Thursday morning.
Goldston is largely responsible for “Good Morning America’s” transformation to a multi-anchor ensemble, which helped the ABC morning show end NBC rival “Today’s” 16-year morning-news ratings win streak. He’s also responsible for remaking “Nightline” into a multi-anchor, multi-topic program in the wake of Ted Koppel’s retirement.
The move will allow “The View,” which has already seemed to take on a newsier approach under former “Rachel Maddow Show” executive producer Wolff, devoting hot topics segments to news stories like Ebola and political events, to take full advantage of the resources of ABC News, which is also right next door to “The View’s” new studio in the ABC Broadcast Center, several blocks east from the show’s former location.
ABC News’ non-fiction programming also includes hospital documentary series “NY Med,” “Surgeon Oz” and ABC News chief medical editor Dr. Richard Besser’s Ebola documentary for Discovery.
Although The View’s 18th season premiere was its most watched season-opener in eight years, the show’s ratings have since fallen to below last year’s viewership, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“I feel incredibly fortunate that we’re now expanding our non-fiction roster to include The View,” Goldston wrote. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to work with its terrific team, and we look forward to exciting days ahead.”
The View recently underwent a significant makeover, with Barbara Walters retiring from her role as on-air co-host and the show replacing panelists Jenny McCarthy and Sherri Shepherd with Rosie O’Donnell, Rosie Perez and Nicolle Wallace. The show’s set has also been redesigned at least twice. Regular viewers have also noticed changes in the show’s on-air logos and other set tweaks since the 18th season debuted in September.
Read Goldston’s full memo below.
I want to share some exciting news. ABC News is expanding our non-fiction programming group, which already includes Lincoln Square Productions, and will now also include The View.
The View, created by our own great Barbara Walters, has always operated at the intersection of opinion and news. In its long and storied history, it has very often made headlines as the biggest names from politics to pop culture have chosen The View to share their incredible stories. For 18 seasons it has occupied a unique place in American culture and been a destination for presidents, world leaders and celebrities, both the famous and the infamous.
This fall The View began another exciting chapter with Whoopi Goldberg, Rosie O’Donnell, Rosie Perez and Nicolle Wallace at the table. They have proven once again that a panel of diverse, accomplished women with vast experiences makes for colorful conversation and great television.
As many of you know firsthand, The View has often called on our on-air team to help viewers understand the biggest stories of the day, from Ebola to Election Night. Moving The View to our non-fiction programming group now allows it to fully draw on the vast resources of ABC News and our team in New York, especially now that the show is based right next to the Barbara Walters building.
In addition to their current and vital roles, I’ve asked Tom Cibrowski, Barbara Fedida and David Sloan to work closely with Randy Barone, Bill Wolff, Brian Balthazar, Kathleen Rajsp and the very talented team on-air and behind the scenes at The View. Tom, Barbara and David have helped take our shows to the next level and worked on a wide range of diverse news and non-fiction programming. Now they’ll help guide The View in its exciting next chapter.
We started to ramp up our non-fiction programming several years ago, and under the strong leadership of Morgan Hertzan, Lincoln Square Productions is growing fast and doing some simply amazing work. Award-winning shows like NY Med, Dr. Besser’s Ebola documentary for Discovery and Surgeon Oz have broadened our perspective on how we better explain the world to our audience and draw new viewers to ABC News.
I feel incredibly fortunate that we’re now expanding our non-fiction roster to include The View. We couldn’t be more thrilled to work with its terrific team, and we look forward to exciting days ahead.