ABC News PR Chief Schneider Leaving to Start Own Firm

Jeffrey Schneider, who led ABC News’ PR efforts as senior VP of communications, will leave the company to start his own PR firm.

Julie Townsend, who had served as Schneider’s deputy, will step in as the top communications executive for the network.

ABC News president James Goldston announced the departure in a memo to staff Monday morning.

“When Ben [Sherwood] was promoted in March, Jeffrey informed him and Kevin Brockman that it might be the right time for him to do something he had long wanted to do – start his own firm,” said Goldston in a memo to staff Monday morning. “They asked Jeffrey to remain at ABC News to handle coming executive and anchor transitions and provide counsel to me when I was named president of the news division.”

Schneider’s new firm will be called Schneider Global Strategy, specializing in media relations and crisis management.