Koppel Left Dangling By Disney Bosses
Venerable newsman and "Nightline" host Ted Koppel (along with his producers) released a statement Tuesday lambasting executives at ABC's parent company, Disney, about their lack of commitment to his show after the media conglomerate made an ill-fated attempt to bring late-night host David Letterman over to ABC and put him in "Nightline"'s time-slot, reports The New York Times. "We hope the corporate leadership of Disney understands that it would be unreasonable to expect all of us at 'Nightline' to continue our work in a climate of ongoing uncertainty," Koppel said, questioning how he and his colleagues are expected to produce their show with such half-hearted support. Disney President Robert Iger defended the bid for David Letterman and the younger audience that his show attracts, telling the Associated Press, "That often means making decisions that benefit one entity in the company to the detriment of others." Executives at the ABC news division, including ABC News president David Westin, were taken by surprise last week when word leaked that "Nightline" was to be replaced by Letterman's show, if the comedian agreed to jump ship from CBS. Letterman announced Monday that he was declining the multi-million dollar offer and expressed hope that Koppel would remain in his job.
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