ABC News announced today that after more than 25 years with the news division, senior executive producer Jon Banner is leaving the news business.
Banner will join PepsiCo’s global communications team, the company announced.
ABC News President Ben Sherwood sent the following memo to staffers this morning:
“I’m writing with news about our good friend and one of our longest-serving and most accomplished colleagues, Jon Banner.
“Jon came to me recently with a great opportunity outside the news business that he simply could not refuse.
“After more than 25 years with ABC News — more than half his life — Jon will be leaving this Sunday to take a senior role at one of America’s great multinational companies.
“For nearly a decade at ABC, Jon led ‘World News’ through wars, natural disasters, terror attacks, presidential elections and everything in between. Guiding the transitions of four anchors in five years, Jon led the program to new heights and helped hold the team together in challenging times.
“Earlier this year, when I asked Jon to add ‘This Week’ to his portfolio, he took on the assignment with characteristic determination and fighting spirit. The broadcast is now in its best competitive position in years, gaining momentum as we head into the most important months of the 2012 campaign.
“Across Jon’s tenure at ABC News, he has won every award for journalistic excellence.
“On a personal level, I’ve known Jon since around the time we both started out in this business. I’ve always valued his friendship and admired his news judgment and competitive drive. For the last couple of years, he has been a wise counselor and steady hand.
“We will miss him mightily.
“Going forward, Senior Executive Producer Marc Burstein will captain our political coverage in addition to Special Events and until a new executive producer is named, Marc will assume that role on ‘This Week.’
“Please join me in thanking Jon for his leadership over the years and wishing him the very best luck in this new chapter.”