ABC News has suspended chief national correspondent Matt Gutman for his erroneous report that all four of Kobe’s Bryant’s children were onboard in the helicopter crash that killed the Los Angeles Lakers great, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others, outlets reported Wednesday.
Gutman’s on-air report on Sunday came at a time when speculation and misinformation were rampant, Deadline reported. Gutman apologized and corrected the mistake on the air later in the day and posted a tweet as well. He called his report “a terrible mistake” in a statement to E! News on Wednesday and said he wanted to “personally apologize to the Bryant family for this wrenching loss and any additional anguish my report caused.”
“Reporting the facts accurately is the cornerstone of our journalism,” an ABC News spokesperson said in a statement to CNN Wednesday. “As he acknowledged on Sunday, Matt Gutman’s initial reporting was not accurate and failed to meet our editorial standards.” The spokesperson declined to elaborate on the terms of the suspension.
Today I inaccurately reported it was believed that four of Kobe Bryant’s children were on board that flight. That is incorrect. I apologize to Kobe’s family, friends and our viewers. pic.twitter.com/yYwuB9vpZl
— Matt Gutman (@mattgutmanABC) January 27, 2020
The LA-based Gutman joined ABC News in 2008 and appears on “World News Tonight with David Muir,” “20/20,” “Good Morning America,” and “Nightline.” His 2018 book “The Boys in the Cave” covered the rescue of a dozen boys and their soccer coach trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand.