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ABC News Backhands Print Partner Over Pulitzer Prize Credits

By | Wednesday April 16, 2014 @ 5:02pm PDT

LisaColumn__131015210634-275x198Weekly Column: Few things in this world are more painful than the realization that an estrangement has occurred between two news organizations who had worked amiably together investigating doctors and lawyers squashing benefits claims of miners dying of black lung, at the behest of the coal industry. That is just what has happened after the Center for Public Integrity won a Pulitzer Prize this week for an investigation into this medical travesty, after other organizations had jointly awarded SHERWOOD-articleLargeCPI and ABC News for the report. ABC claims CPI threw its staffers under the bus to soak up all the Pulitzer glory; CPI claims ABC News doesn’t deserve to share the Pulitzer because it only parachuted in periodically on the lengthy investigation, produced “sporadic” reports for television — not print — and repeatedly had to be saved from making embarrassing factual errors on its broadcast segments about the investigation.

Related: Pulitzer Board Honors The Guardian And Washington Post For Snowden Coverage

Meanwhile, White House Correspondents Dinner organizers took on the air of folks being pushed towards dangerous machinery in which they would prefer not to become entangled. That group already has announced it is giving its Edgar A. Poe Award to CPI and ABC News for the black-lung report, specifically because the two organizations “showed how a true collaboration between media partners can break significant new ground on an already well-reported story.” Joel McHale, who’s been booked to provide comedy at that annual black-tie dinner/celebrity petting zoo, is going to have a hard time topping that one for laughs.

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Incoming Disney/ABC TV Group President Ben Sherwood On Getting The Big Job, His Learning Curve & ABC Topper Paul Lee

By | Monday March 24, 2014 @ 12:15pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Ben Sherwood ABC NewsIt has been a whirlwind of three months for Ben Sherwood. In December, he signed a new long-term contract with ABC News, which he had led since December 2010. Now he has been given the keys to a much bigger Disney TV kingdom, named the successor to Anne Sweeney as co-chairman, Disney Media Networks and president, Disney/ABC Television Group. “It was as quick as it seems,” Sherwood said of the hiring process. He said he learned the surprising news that Sweeney would be stepping down in February 2015 to become a TV director along with everyone else when she and Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger made the announcement less than two weeks ago. “There was a very clear succession plan,” Sherwood said. “(Iger) had a number of conversations with people internally and reached the decision pretty quickly.” However, Sherwood acknowledges that the plan may have been hatched over the six-month period in which Iger and Sweeney had been discussing her exit before making it public.

disneyabc2Sherwood could be working with ABC Entertainment Group president Paul Lee, who had been negotiating a new contract, something Sherwood welcomes. “I’ve worked with Paul for the past few years, and I know he is an incredibly bright and talented guy,” Sherwood said. “He’s had share of hits and is primed for more, and I’m really excited about this development cycle.”

As for his own replacement atop ABC News, “we follow the same blueprint and have a robust succession process,” Sherwood said, noting that “we have a deep bench at ABC News.” He called fining a successor “a top priority.”

Related: All Eyes On James Goldston As ABC News Looks To Replace Ben Sherwood

“Honored” by the new job, Sherwood said he plans to approach it as a journalist in the next 12 months when he will be learning the ropes as a co-president (and understudy) to Disney/ABC Television Group alongside Sweeney. “I have a great deal of curiosity, and, as a journalist, I’ll be asking a lot of questions, I’ll be digging deep and learning a lot.” He has ideas he wants to bring to the job overseeing a portfolio of networks but declined to share them. “I approach this with humility, and I think it would presumptuous for me to lay out particular ideas,” he said. Read More »

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All Eyes On James Goldston As ABC News Looks To Replace Ben Sherwood

By | Monday March 24, 2014 @ 11:23am PDT

James GoldstonWith ABC News chief Ben Sherwood named today to replace Anne Sweeney as president of Disney/ABC Television Group, betting money is on James Goldston, senior vice president of ABC News, stepping in to replace Sherwood at the helm of the news division. ABC News declined to comment.

Related: Q&A: Inoming Disney/ABC TV Group President Ben Sherwood

abc-news110915165209Goldston’s the guy credited with saving Nightline from oblivion, and turning Good Morning America into the franchise that deposed NBC’s Today as king of the morning show ratings —  though Goldston already had been upped to Sherwood’s No. 2 guy, and Tom Cibrowski, who’d worked with Goldston on GMA, had been promoted to GMA chief when the program actually went in for the kill. Discussions about Goldston generally include the expression “golden gut” and he is said to be well-liked in the news division. He’s also considered so valuable to the news operation that discussion of Sherwood-replacement plans don’t seem to include any other names.
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Ben Sherwood To Succeed Anne Sweeney As Disney/ABC Television Group President, ABC’s Paul Lee Closing In On New Contract

By | Monday March 24, 2014 @ 10:02am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

SHERWOOD-articleLargeABC News president Ben Sherwood cemented his status as Disney’s golden TV boy as he has been appointed a successor to Anne Sweeney. Sherwood will assume the title of co-chairman, Disney Media Networks and president, Disney/ABC Television Group on February 1, 2015, a day after Entertainment Weekly And ABC-TV Celebrate The New York Upfronts - ArrivalsSweeney ends her 10-year run in the same post. ABC Entertainment Group president Paul Lee is expected to finalize a new multi-year contract, ensuring the network’s stability at the top heading into next month’s upfronts. Sherwood’s appointment comes after a short search, with the news wiz considered an early frontrunner as Disney again looked within ranks for the next top executive hire.

Related: Anne Sweeney’s Legacy: Her Hits & Misses

Sherwood will begin the transition as Co-President, Disney/ABC Television Group alongside Sweeney immediately, while also continuing to oversee ABC News until a successor is named. “Ben is one of those unique executives who combine rich creative experience with great business acumen,” Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger said. “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. These reasons, and many others, make Ben the ideal candidate to oversee the future of the Disney/ABC Television Group.”

Related: All Eyes On James Goldston As ABC News Looks To Replace Ben Sherwood

While Sherwood’s career trajectory resembles that of Jeff Zucker, who also transitioned from the No. 1 morning program, Today, to running NBC (they both also went to Harvard), observers point out that Sherwood also has entertainment experience. He took a break from the news business and became a best-selling author, with his novel The Death And Life Of Charlie St. Cloud turned into a studio feature. Still, it was Sherwood’s accomplishments as head of the ABC News division that propelled him to the reins of Disney’s entire non-sports TV portfolio. Among them is leading Good Morning America to No. 1, brokering a successful online partnership with Yahoo to and launching Fusion, a joint venture news and lifestyle network with Univision. “Over the years, he has moved from success-to-success, and helped create a more vibrant, collaborative and powerful news division that embraces innovation and risk-taking,” Sweeney said. “Ben’s now set to bring those same attributes to bear for the larger group, and I could not be more thrilled. This announcement simply highlights the fact that our talent and succession planning process works.” Read More »

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Almin Karamehmedovic Named ‘Nightline’ Exec Producer

By | Tuesday February 4, 2014 @ 7:13am PST

abcnightlineAlmin Karamehmedovic has been named executive producer of Nightline, ABC News said this morning. Current EP Jeanmarie Condon has been named senior exec producer of content and development for the news division. Both will report to James Goldston, ABC’s SVP News. Condon will develop a range of special projects and series for broadcast, digital and cable, focusing on enterprise reporting and on the division-wide deep-dive journalism she is known for spearheading, ABC president Ben Sherwood said in this morning’s announcement.  She will continue to oversee Nightline Primetime.

Karamehmedovic has been senior producer, then senior broadcast producer of Nightline for the past four years. In 2001, he became one of the first journalists to gain access to Tora Bora, Afghanistan, where Osama bin Laden was holed up, and in 2003 he embedded with the U.S. Army during the invasion of Iraq and spent much of the next three years there. In 2005, he was one of the first journalists to travel to Darfur/Sudan to report on the genocide there, and in 2006 he covered the war in Southern Lebanon, Sherwood noted. Read More »

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ABC News Adds Schiavocampo, Kristol

By | Monday February 3, 2014 @ 6:34am PST

abc-news110915165209ABC News president Ben Sherwood made it official this morning, announcing Mara Schiavocampo has joined ABC News as a New York-based correspondent. Schiavocampo, who’d been with NBC since 2007, becoming Early Today anchor in ’10 and also anchoring MSNBC’s First Look, left that network in December. At ABC News she will be a New York-based correspondent reporting on all platforms.

One day earlier, George Stephanopoulos announced on This Week that Bill Kristol, the editor and publisher of The Weekly Standard, had joined ABC News as a contributor. Kristol’s decade-long contributor relationship with Fox News ended last summer — owing to a cooling of his relationship with Fox News chairman Roger Ailes, or rather because FNC made a lot of changes and no longer needed his services and there was no cooling at all, depending on your source.
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ABC News Adds Australia’s Ten Network Correspondent Hamish Macdonald

By | Thursday January 2, 2014 @ 7:41am PST

abc newsABC News president Ben Sherwood announced this morning that Australia’s Ten Network senior foreign correspondent/anchor Hamish Macdonald is joining his division as an international affairs correspondent based in London. Macdonald resigned from Ten in September; his exit back then was described in press reports as a “shock,” what with Ten having planned to use him as the face of its Sochi Winter Games coverage. His three-year contract with that network was set to end in February of  ’14, according to those reports.

“After three wonderful years at Ten, I have decided to move on. Thursday 26 September will be my last day on-air… after eight years of almost non-stop travel, I am hoping to take a little down-time now to consider which option to pursue next,” Macdonald tweeted in September.

Here’s Sherwood’s memo: Read More »

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HLN’s Ryan Smith Lands At ABC News As Legal Analyst

By | Wednesday December 18, 2013 @ 7:25am PST

Ryan Smith will start in January as a New York-based correspondent and legal abcnews__130401171754-150x62analyst, complementing the work of ABC News‘s chief legal analyst and Nightline anchor Dan Abrams, ABC News president Ben Sherwood said in a memo to staff today. Ryan will also offer legal analysis on ESPN. Smith had until recently anchored HLN’s Evening Express, which was among the programs dumped last month by HLN’s new-ish GM Albie Hecht as part of a rebranding of that network. (Evening Express was, ironically, replaced by What Would You Do! — the ABC News show to which HLN bought cable TV rerun rights about a year ago. ) From Sherwood’s memo:

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Erle Norton Joins ABC News Digital

By | Monday September 30, 2013 @ 7:38am PDT

Erle Norton has joined ABC as exec producer of ABC News Digital. The memo from ABC News president Ben Sherwood:

I’m delighted to share that Erle Norton joins us today as the new Executive Producer of ABC News Digital, overseeing editorial and video operations across

Growing ABC News Digital is one of our most important priorities. Erle will work closely with Joe Ruffolo and the product, editorial and video teams to further enhance the editorial experience and to ensure greater integration across all our platforms. And he’s charged with developing our lifestyle, tech and enterprise verticals; continuing to improve the user experience on mobile and tablet devices; and expanding live stream and digital video opportunities.

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ABC News Adds NBC Philly Newscaster Aditi Roy to LA Bureau

By | Monday July 1, 2013 @ 6:49am PDT

ABC News announced this morning it has added Aditi Roy to its Los Angeles Bureau. Here is ABC News chief Ben Sherwood’s memo to staffers:

I am pleased to announce that Aditi Roy is joining ABC News as a Los Angeles-based correspondent reporting for all our broadcasts and platforms.

For much of the past decade viewers in Philadelphia have watched Aditi anchoring morning and evening newscasts for NBC10.  She has done extensive reporting on education issues, focusing on the impact of violence in urban schools along with innovative approaches to boosting achievement.  Aditi also spent several months in 2011 and 2012 reporting for NBC News broadcasts from Los Angeles.

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ABC News On Defensive Over Shooting Coverage: “We Take The Truth Seriously”

By | Thursday July 26, 2012 @ 10:30am PDT

Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s TV coverage.

ABC News Colorado ShootingsABC News president Ben Sherwood and Good Morning America anchor George Stephanopoulos spent this morning at the TCAs apologizing and then defending the network’s coverage in the wake of last week’s Colorado movie theater shooting, after a pair of incidents raised questions about its reporting. Sherwood was asked if the pressure to be first on the air with news may be leading to more errors being made at his news organization. “I challenge the assumption that more mistakes are being made,” he said. “All I can say is that ABC News takes the truth seriously.”

Related: ABC News Apologizes For Erroneously Linking Suspected Shooter To Tea Party

Sherwood denied that the network made any error in its characterization of the conversation reporter Matthew Mosk had the morning of the shooting with suspect James Holmes’ mother Arlene, whom the reporter had awakened with the news. Arlene Holmes’ response to the statement “You have the right person” was characterized as a comment about her son. But this week, she said through her attorney that she was referring to herself in terms of them reaching the “right person.” ”It was obviously a very distressing situation for Mrs. Holmes,” Sherwood said. “But we stand behind our reporter’s characterization of what ensued in that conversation and his description of that conversation.”

Related: ABC News Defends Report Of Telephone Interview With Mother Of Suspected Colorado Gunman Read More »

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Katie Couric Won’t Be Anchoring ABC’s Evening Newscast: TCA

By | Monday January 9, 2012 @ 3:20pm PST

Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.

ABC News president Ben Sherwood said during his division’s TCA session today that network newcomer and former CBS News anchor Katie Couric will not reprise her role as an anchor on ABC’s evening news. “You’ll see her showcased in all kinds of different ways, but she’s done the anchoring thing in the evening,” he said, nixing recent speculation of her coming in as a replacement anchor for the 6:30 PM newscast. (Couric’s rich deal with ABC for a syndicated daytime talk show includes an ABC News component.) “You’ll see her in the morning. You’ll see her all over the place.” After the session, Sherwood went on defense about Couric’s demise in the CBS News anchor chair. “I don’t think the viewers have rejected her,” he said. “It’s not about rejection. It’s about what she wants to do.” Speaking of anchors, Sherwood said during the session that the network hopes former anchor Charles Gibson will return in some capacity. “You heard his voice on ABC News over the weekend on This Week: he introduced George Stephanopoulos,” he said. “We hope in time we’ll get Charlie back on the air.” Read More »

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TCA: Ben Sherwood Quells the Not-So-Angry Mob

From Ray Richmond, who has been contributing to Deadline Hollywood’s TCA coverage:
You’d have figured that ABC News’ hiring in December of Ben Sherwood as its new president — replacing David Westin — would inspire the famed fangs of reporters and critics at TCA to come out. Here was a guy whose reputation one might charitably call “controversial.” He departed as head of Good Morning America in 2006 in a decided lack of glory, and has been out of the TV news business ever since, busy writing books like The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud. And his ascension to the big ABC News chair was met with a nasty propaganda video that found the new troops attacking their incoming boss mercilessly.

But the lion’s den turned out to be more a pussycat’s lair Monday morning in Pasadena as ABC’s day at the semi-annual TCA confab dawned. And part of that can likely be ascribed to the smooth performance of Sherwood himself. He eschewed the podium to stride the stage gracefully and forcefully and embodied the air of a guy in charge despite his having been on job less than a month. No one even thought to ask him what his qualifications were for such a high-profile post.

“I don’t want to sugarcoat the last year, it’s been very difficult,” Sherwood acknowledged right off the top. “But I feel we are turning the corner to more success.”

That would be a change of pace from … Read More »

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Ben Sherwood Named ABC News President

By | Friday December 3, 2010 @ 7:30am PST
Nellie Andreeva

UPDATE: Here is a video of Disney/ABC TV Group president Anne Sweeney introducing new ABC News president Ben Sherwood to the ABC News staff:

PREVIOUS: Exactly 3 months after longtime ABC News president David Westin announced he would be stepping down at the end of December and following an exhaustive search, Disney/ABC Television Group president Anne Sweeney this morning named former Good Morning America executive producer and The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud author Ben Sherwood as his successor. Here are ABC’s release and Sweeney’s email to the ABC News staff:

New York — Friday, December 3, 2010 – Ben Sherwood, an award-winning journalist, bestselling author and digital media entrepreneur, has been named as the new president of ABC News, it was announced today by Anne Sweeney, co-chair, Disney Media Networks and president, Disney/ABC Television Group, to whom he will report.  In this position, Mr. Sherwood will be responsible for all editorial, programming and digital aspects of our global news business encompassing all ABC News programs on the ABC Television Network, ABC News Radio, ABC and ABC News NOW.

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