Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Current GMA Sex Scandal Doesn’t Compare to the One from 1997 Involving ABC News Chief and PR VP


I read the story in The Cut (New York Magazine) about how everyone’s having sex at ABC. This comes from the scandal surrounding TJ Holmes and Amy Robach at “Good Morning America 3” or whatever it’s called.

The Cut is just scandalized. Like this has never happened before!

Well, it has. ABC has been a Wolf’s Dean as far back as anyone can remember.

Back in 1997, ABC News was “rocked” when it was revealed that news chief David Westin was sleeping with his executive vice president of communications, Sherrie Rollins. They were each married to other people.

Everything seems new to every generation, but it’s not. The Westin-Rollins thing went on in the gossip columns for weeks, both in New York and Washington. Here’s a link to just one story from the Washington Post. Please, kids, New York columnists Liz Smith and Cindy Adams were on it every day. Here’s a feature story in New York Magazine back when they immediately covered New York media scandals.

David Westin kept his job until 2010. Sherrie left the network. They married, and had a son.

Even before the Westin-Rollins soap opera, ABC was famous as a hotbed media Plato’s Retreat. There were constant stories in the 80s about monkey business all over the studios, even in the elevators. ABC Evening News anchor Peter Jennings, who was respected and erudite, was pretty much a well known hounddog (although his reported affairs were outside the office).

Watch the movie “Broadcast News” or even the recent TV series, “The Morning Show.” These people who work at network news — see Jeff Daniels and co in HBO’s “Newsroom” — are locked inside all day and night or traveling together 24/7. Just recently, CNN’s Jeff Zucker was taken down in a similar situation when his relationship with his PR person at the network, Alison Gollust, was revealed. And I could tell you stories about Walter Cronkite. That’s the way it is.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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