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ABC News Bleeding From ‘Self-Inflicted Wound’ After ‘GMA3’ Love Scandal

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The Daily Beast/Getty

This reporting is one of several scoops featured in this week’s edition of Confider, the newsletter pulling back the curtain on the media. Subscribe here and send your questions, tips, and complaints here.

GMA3 lovebirds T.J. Holmes and Amy Robach are now officially gone from ABC, but the fallout within the network continues.

News boss Kim Godwin is now on thin ice with Disney executives over her and her team’s handling of the affair—and she’s rapidly losing the confidence of the newsroom, six senior ABC News staffers told Confider.

For starters, employees are quick to recall how soon after the tryst was first revealed, Godwin confidently said in an editorial call that the relationship was “not a violation of company policy,” a declaration that has left the newsroom scratching its collective head now that Robach—who was well-liked and, unlike Holmes, did not have other alleged office trysts—has been given the boot.

Staffers further noted that with Robach gone and Cecilia Vega having defected to 60 Minutes, the GMA talent bench has thinned out to a troubling degree. ABC bookers are now in a pickle because Robach was the network’s go-to choice to conduct the more controversial interviews that Robin Roberts passes on for fear of tainting her “brand,” insiders told us. (Interestingly, two people familiar with the matter said Roberts was among those pushing for Robach and Holmes’ exit.)

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Ultimately, the monthslong scandal was a “self-inflicted wound” for Godwin, multiple ABC staffers remarked, as her initially lackadaisical comments and inability to make a decision allowed a two-day story to spiral into two months of salacious headlines and seemingly nonstop PR crises.

“She doesn’t understand the organization and she has surrounded herself with incompetent people,” one dismayed ABC News staffer said.

Confider has further learned that, amid all this turmoil, Disney global security has been interviewing staffers as part of a hunt for leakers within the network—an extraordinary move for a news outlet that relies on anonymous sources and leaks.

Reps for ABC News and Disney declined to comment.

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