Now that the battle for Iraq is history, rumors are flying at ABC News about the future role of Rick Kaplan, who spent three months as a consultant producing the network’s war coverage. Mr. Kaplan is certainly no stranger to the network, where he played major roles in such franchise shows as World News Tonight, Nightline and PrimeTime, before leaving in 1997 for CNN. During his three years in Atlanta, Mr. Kaplan was often stymied by the well-entrenched CNN bureaucracy before he was finally forced out in 2000.
One thing is certain: ABC News two weeks ago posted a new position for a VP. Now a number of ABC producers, managers and talent, some of whom who had prickly moments over the years with Mr. Kaplan, assume the new veep position is his for the taking. The question is, though, whether he’ll oversee multiple shows (the leading theory), just World News Tonight or an otherwise redivvied turf. In any case, many still expect Jon Banner to become exec producer of WNT, and Nightline co-exec producer Tom Bettag to take on This Week With George Stephanopoulos.