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Analysis: ABC's Ben Sherwood, as Sisyphus

New president of abc news ben sherwood

New president of abc news ben sherwood Credit: abc news

Fascinating and not entirely expected succession at ABC News: Ben Sherwood will be the new president of the news division, which is losing David Westin shortly. Westin reportedly got sick and tired of the constant cutting - and now presumably that's Sherwood's headache.

   I've posted below the entire ABC press release, and it's interesting and informative; Sherwood comes off a good run as Executive producer of "Good Morning America," although Anee Sweeney - ABC chief - calls his years there the "most successful" in the show's history. Unclear what parameter she is using, but Sherwood's "GMA" never surpassed "Today," as it did some years ago.

  Why Sherwood? Seems to me the obvious - he was a successful boss at "GMA," and was overseer of the biggest budget in the news division; "GMA" is also the chief driver of profits for ABC News, and along with "Nightline," one of the only major contributors.

   This is - and has been - a terribly terribly difficult time for this network's news division. "Devastating," really, is a better word. Westin presided over vast cuts, sending hundreds of people to the exits. It has been a borderline tragedy, in TV news terms. What has been, or will be, laid at Sherwood's feet, may well be this: Continued cutting.

  There will also be much speculation about a combination between ABC News and CNN - but frankly, that combo talk has gotten dreary.  If was going to happen, why hasn't it happened already? Answer: There are clearly some huge hurdles, many of them below the surface budgetary ones. 

  Good luck to Sherwood. He is certainly a very bright fellow.

  But, I'm sorry to say, he's going to need all the luck he can get.


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