Walt Disney Chairman/CEO Bob
Iger wasted little time in choosing a successor to Disney-ABC TV and Disney Media Networks chief executive Anne Sweeney -- ABC News president Ben Sherwood.
Sherwood has been a major factor
in the success of ABC News' “Good Morning America,” which rose to the No. 1 spot in morning viewers in 2012 -- unseating longtime early morning TV champ NBC’s “Today”
show. “Today” had been No. 1 among all TV viewers for 16 years.
Sherwood will take over for Sweeney, who is currently co-chair of Disney Media Networks and will become president
of Disney-ABC Television group in February 2015. Effective immediately, Sherwood will have the title of co-president of Disney-ABC Television, as well as co-chair of Disney Media Nets.
Sherwood has been president of ABC News since December 2010 -- with responsibility for “World News with Diane Sawyer,” “Nightline,” “Good Morning America”,
“20/20” and “This Week with George Stephanopoulos." Sherwood also oversees ABC News Radio, and ABCnews.com.
In October 2011, ABC News and Yahoo partnered up to create an
online news platform that reaches nearly 100 million people, according to the company. Last year, ABC News and Univision launched Fusion, a news and lifestyle network targeting Hispanic-Americans.
Iger stated: “Ben is one of those unique executives who combine rich creative experience with great business acumen. He’s also focused, strategic and competitive, as evidenced by
the success of 'GMA,' the Yahoo deal that delivered ABC News online dominance, and his vision behind our new cable and digital joint venture, Fusion.
Sherwood joined ABC News in 1989 as an
investigative associate producer.
Sweeney’s surprise announcement on March 11 said she was leaving her position to pursue a career as a television director