Peter Lauria of BuzzFeed.com reports that ABC News has hired Erle Norton from Reuters to oversee editorial and video operations across all of ABCNews.com.
Lauria writes, “Norton, who arrives at ABC News from Thomson Reuters, will be charged with expanding digital coverage in lifestyle, tech, and enterprise, among other responsibilities. His implied mandate will be to grow ABC News Digital on its own to be as large as — or overtake — its top three rivals: CNN, NBC, and CBS. As it currently stands, ABC News Digital is only bigger than the web operations of those three competitors by virtue of its partnership with Yahoo. On a standalone basis, it is smaller.
“‘My biggest push will be in the newsroom,’ Norton said in a statement provided to BuzzFeed. ‘We’re going to leave the standard stories and packages in favor of experimentation. We want to zero in on the most fascinating parts of the news. That’s the way ABC News will continue to stand out.’
“Norton is the latest in a string of high level editorial defections to hit Reuters. He joined Reuters in mid-2012 as editorial director of Reuters Digital Video, managing video operations across the entire company under the direction of Dan Colarusso, who himself was just appointed as executive editor of Reuters Digital.
“‘Erle is the best kept secret in journalism, a force as a leader and a journalist,’ said a former colleague who requested anonymity because he will be competing with Norton in his new role.”