Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s TV coverage.
ABC 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.”
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.”
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 »
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 … Read More »
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 News.com and ABC News NOW.