Walt Disney Co. named ABC News President Ben Sherwood as co-chairman of its media networks, filling the vacancy created by the planned departure of Anne Sweeney in January.
Mr. Sherwood's time atop ABC News included the ascent last year of "Good Morning America" over the longtime No. 1 morning show, NBC's "Today." This year ABC News and Univision started Fusion, a cable network aimed at young Hispanics.
ABC's prime-time programing, however, has been lagging rivals in total viewers and in the 18-to-49 demo this season. Recent disappointments include "The Assets," "Killer Women," "Mind Games," "Lucky 7" and "Betrayal."
Mr. Sherwood will begin the transition immediately as co-president of the Disney/ABC Television Group and will continue to oversee news until a successor is named, the Burbank, California-based company said today in a statement.
Disney Chairman-CEO Robert Iger is moving quickly to fill a key executive role that oversees the company's largest division. Those include the Disney channels, the ABC network. Mr. Sherwood will work alongside John Skipper, who runs ESPN and is co-chairman of the media networks.
~ Bloomberg News and Ad Age staff ~