Longtime ABC journalist Brian Ross has aired his last news report on the Alphabet Network. He was a fixture on ABC News for nearly a quarter of a century, but he found himself in big trouble about a mistaken report in 2017. He was taken off the air after his mistake made a stir, and his fate as a journalist on ABC has been in question since way back in December. Now, the decision has been made, and Brian Ross will no longer operate out of ABC.
Brian Ross is joined by fellow investigative reporter Rhonda Schwartz in departing ABC. Although his departure is a big deal after spending 24 years reporting for ABC, many people probably saw it coming. Ross was suspended without pay for a month in December and then demoted from his position as Chief Investigative Correspondent for ABC. While it was possible that he would keep his job, the odds weren't especially in his favor. Now that the decision is made, at least nobody has to wonder about whether or not he'll be back.
In a joint statement from Brian Ross and Rhonda Schwartz, they said that they "decided to pack up and move on from ABC News" and described ABC News as "an organization that has meant so much for us." The statement points toward an amiable separation between the journalists and the network, although revealing any bad blood wouldn't be in Ross and Schwartz' best interest. Their statement went on to say that they're "hardly leaving investigative journalism" just because they're leaving ABC; if they aired any dirty laundry and complained about ABC News, it wouldn't help them land jobs elsewhere. Then again, maybe everything really was amiable between all parties.
ABC News Chief James Goldston sent a memo to ABC News staff addressing the departures. In the memo (via Deadline) , Goldston didn't comment on what caused Brian Ross to leave the network. He praised both Ross' and Schwartz' contributions to the world of journalism, lauding how their reporting "has led repeatedly to real changes in policy in the U.S. and around the world." The mistake that led to Ross losing his standing at ABC News apparently didn't sour all his relationships at the network.
The mess started when Brian Ross, in his position as Chief Investigative Correspondent, erroneously reported that former national security adviser Michael Flynn was going to testify about an issue regarding Donald Trump's actions before the presidential election when actually the actions took place after the election. After the mistake was noted, ABC release a "clarification" to correct to error and Ross dropped by ABC's World News Tonight to cop to his mistake. Admitting the mistake didn't result in Brian Ross regaining his position at ABC News.
Only time will tell if Brian Ross does indeed land another TV job as an investigative journalist. There are no shortage of news outlets nowadays, so I wouldn't be shocked if he was able to find a new home on a cable news network if he can't land somewhere other than ABC on broadcast television. For your viewing options now and in the not-too-distant future, swing by our summer TV premiere guide.