Former ABC News EP Defends Mimi Gurbst

Jessica Stedman Guff, once a senior producer for “Good Morning America” and later EP of World News NOW, has penned a letter to the editor of The New York Observer in defense of Mimi Gurbst, a retiring ABC News executive who was profiled in the paper last week. The profile itself was overshadowed by the comments in the online story — comments from some former co-workers who had nothing good to say about Gurbst.

Stedman Guff, who left ABC two years ago after more than 25 years with the network, writes, “I can no longer countenance the abuse of anonymity that has allowed others to cowardly malign her in perpetuity on the Internet.”

Since the attacks on her have been so pointedly personal let me also say that she is a beloved wife and mother to two kind and successful children and it is with her family in mind that I tell you she was a role model to many working women seeking to raise families while pursuing a highly competitive career they loved, a career that demands long hours, travel, and sacrifice.

And the two-way media is not silent on this online story. Commenters are already chiming in:

I also happen to be a beloved mother to two kind and successful children. They are proud of me and they should be – I have always treated people with kindness and respect. Mimi’s children do not have that privilege. And Jessica, please attempt to absorb this: the deck was NEVER stacked against Mimi. It was stacked against the unfortunate victims of her creepy sociopathy.

@ChrisAriens Chris Ariens is the managing editor and director of video at Adweek.