Ben Sherwood, who left his post as producer of ABC’s Good Morning America four years ago, is returning to head up the network’s news division. The move comes about two months after David Westin resigned as ABC (NYSE: DIS) News president following deep job cuts earlier this year.
Sherwood will oversee all business operations for the news division, which includes ABC News programs on ABC, ABC News Radio, ABC News.com and ABC News Now. The hiring was first reported by TVNewser. [Release.]
After holding journalism jobs in radio and newspapers, including the LA Times, Sherwood joined ABC News in 1989. He began as an investigative associate producer and producer for ABC News’ PrimeTime (then called Prime*Time* Live), the show that paired Diane Sawyer with Sam Donaldson. He left the network in 1997 to become a producer on NBC’s Nightly News with Tom Brokaw. He then came back to ABC News in April 2004 as executive producer of GMA. In between the last ABC News stint and now, Sherwood concentrated on writing books; The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud was turned into a film starring Zac Ephron.
In his second return, Sherwood reports directly to Anne Sweeney, co-chair, Disney Media Networks and President, Disney/ABC Television Group. Although four years is not a long time, since he last left the network, the news division is a very different place. In February, Westin engineered a major restructuring of the news department and cut roughly a third of the 400-member staff and said that the segment would have to learn to do more with less.. There would also be more concentration on digital. In June, the digital area was also reorganized as well.