Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Disney/TV Taps ABC News Ben Sherwood For Top Spot

Ben Sherwood
ABC News president Ben Sherwood has been named Anne Sweeney's successor as co-chairman of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney/ABC Television Group.

He'll take over the role on Feb. 1, 2015, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Sweeney is leaving Disney and pursue a career in TV directing.

Sherwood quickly emerged as an especially strong contender due to his successful stewardship of the news division that has included a wide-ranging deal with Yahoo and new cable network Fusion, an English-language joint venture with leading Spanish broadcaster Univision. But the accomplishment that brought Sherwood the most distinction was his aggressive pursuit of ending the Today show's 16-year morning news winning streak. Since ABC's Good Morning America overtook Today nearly two years ago, the news division has seen its ad revenue increase by more than $100 million, according to estimates provided by Kantar Media.

Sherwood is an aggressive networker who has forged a close relationship with Disney CEO Bob Iger, who is known to email the ABC News president with comments during breaking news situations.

In making the announcement on Monday, Iger cited Sherwood's execution of the Yahoo and Fusion deals as well as the GMA victory. "Ben is one of those unique executives who combines rich creative experience with great business acumen," said Iger.

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