Former ABC News President James Goldston to Launch Studio for Candle Media

Candle Media is expanding its presence in the documentary and nonfiction space.

The operating company run by Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs is turning to another Walt Disney Co. veteran to run the studio: former ABC News president James Goldston.

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The new division will focus on “scripted and non-scripted features and series inspired by true stories,” according to Candle. Goldston will be the division’s president.

Unlike Candle Media’s other deals so far (acquisitions and investments into companies like Hello Sunshine, Moonbug Entertainment, Faraway Road and Exile Content), Goldston will be building a new content company from scratch for the Blackstone-backed media operating company.

Well, almost from scratch. Goldston left ABC News in 2021 and formed his own production company called Aquitania Films. He will bring over his employees and development slate from that company to the new venture.

Goldston worked at ABC News for nearly 20 years, initially on 20/20 and Nightline. He eventually took over Good Morning America, overtaking NBC’s Today during his tenure. He was named ABC News president in 2014.

After leaving ABC Goldston also worked as a consultant to the House Jan. 6 Committee.

“We have known James for many years, through our collective time together at Disney,” Mayer and Staggs said in a statement. “He is a world-class storyteller, with a unique ability to turn real-life stories into engaging, premium content across a variety of formats and platforms. We look forward to working with him to integrate and expand these capabilities as part of Candle.”

Axios’ Sara Fischer first reported Goldston’s new Candle Media venture.

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