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ABC News taps former 'Good Morning America' producer Ben Sherwood as president

December 3, 2010 |  8:11 am

ABC News has tapped a former executive producer of "Good Morning America" as its new president.

Ben Sherwood, who spent many years toiling at ABC News before becoming an author and Internet entrepreneur, will succeed David Westin, who announced in September that he would step down at the end of the year.

"Ben combines an intimate knowledge and success in the news business with a creative flair and entrepreneurial spirit that are second-to-none," said Anne Sweeney, co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney/ABC Television Group, in a statement. "While at ABC News, he delivered GMA's two most successful seasons in history, and guided prize-winning coverage of some of the biggest stories of the day."

Sherwood left “Good Morning America” in 2006 to write books. He is the author of two novels, 2000's "The Man Who Ate the 747" and 2004's "The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud," as well as the 2009 book, “The Survivors Club: The Secrets and Science that Could Save Your Life."

In Sherwood, ABC News gets someone who knows his way around the network's newsroom, but who at the same time may not have allegiances to anyone at the division because he's been gone for almost five years. Sherwood inherits a news unit that is No. 2 behind NBC in the mornings and evenings.

ABC had made clear after Westin announced his departure that it was not necessarily going to promote someone from within the unit to take the job. Like other broadcast news divisions, ABC News has had to endure severe cuts over the last several years as it struggles to adjust to the digital age. ABC News has flirted in the past with possible partnerships with CNN and Bloomberg Media and determining whether such an approach is the best bet to ensure a solid future for the unit may be one of Sherwood's first tasks.

-- Melissa Maerz

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