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.
In making the announcement, Ms. Sweeney stated, “Ben’s proven success in the news business, along with his entrepreneurial spirit, creativity, and keen intellect, make him the ideal choice to lead ABC News into the future. His previous tenure at ABC led to the most successful seasons in GMA’s history, and his success as a bestselling author and digital entrepreneur demonstrate a unique skill set that is as valuable as it is diverse.”
Mr. Sherwood said, “It’s a great honor and privilege to be asked to lead this amazing news organization, and I am humbled by the opportunity. For more than 20 years, I’ve known firsthand of the passion, excellence and integrity of the people who work for ABC News. I am thrilled to be coming back home, and look forward to harnessing our innovation and creativity to build on our great history of success.”
Mr. Sherwood began to explore a career in journalism with student internships at KCET public television in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times Washington Bureau, and the CBS Evening News in New York. In 1984-1985, during a year off from college, he worked for The News and Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina; the Los Angeles Times Paris bureau and the United Nations Border Relief Operation in Aranyaprathet, Thailand.
He launched his career in earnest when he joined ABC News in 1989, serving as an investigative associate producer and producer for ABC News’ PrimeTime Live with hosts Diane Sawyer and Sam Donaldson. During that time his investigative reports explored flaws in the secretive B-2 stealth bomber program, the dangers of unlicensed mental health practitioners, and the unheralded risks of an overprescribed heart medication.
In 1997 Mr. Sherwood joined NBC’s Nightly News with Tom Brokaw as broadcast producer responsible for “In Depth” reports, then senior producer, and ultimately senior broadcast producer, where he helped guide coverage of the September 11th attacks and the highly contested Florida results from the 2000 Presidential election.
Mr. Sherwood returned to ABC News in April 2004 as executive producer of the network’s award-winning morning program, Good Morning America. During his tenure with the network, Mr. Sherwood guided GMA to the two most successful seasons in its history, while overseeing prize-winning coverage of the tsunami in Southeast Asia, the devastation of hurricane Katrina, and the presidential election of 2004.
Over the years, Mr. Sherwood’s journalism and non-fiction essays have been published in many respected publications, including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Newsweek, New Republic, Washington Monthly, Parade and O magazine.
Mr. Sherwood is also the author of two critically acclaimed best-selling novels: The Man Who Ate the 747 (2000) and The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud (2004). His fiction has been published around the world
In July 2010, The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud was adapted as a feature film starring Zac Efron and was released by Universal Pictures under the title Charlie St. Cloud. The Man Who Ate the 747 is also being developed as a major motion picture and Broadway musical.
Mr. Sherwood’s latest book, The Survivors Club, is a non-fiction exploration of the science and secrets of who bounces back from everyday adversity and who doesn’t; who beats life-threatening disease and who succumbs; and who triumphs after economic hardship and who surrenders. The book became an instant New York Times bestseller and has been featured widely in print and on television.
In January 2009, Mr. Sherwood founded TheSurvivorsClub.org, an online resource center and support network for people surviving and thriving in the face of all kinds of adversity. In September 2010, The Survivors Club relaunched in partnership with Hearst Digital Media, significantly expanding its reach and offerings.
A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Harvard College in 1986, Mr. Sherwood earned an AB degree in American government and history. From 1986 to 1989, as a Rhodes Scholar at Magdalen College, Oxford, he earned masters degrees in British imperial history and development economics.
Mr. Sherwood is currently a member of the board of directors of City Year in Los Angeles and a member of the advisory board of the Center for Public Integrity in Washington, DC. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.