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THR's 35 Most Powerful People in Media

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    Ben Sherwood
    Ben Sherwood
    Ben Sherwood
    President, ABC News

    When Sherwood took over ABC News at the end of 2010, the division had just limped through a series of deep cuts that excised 25 percent of the staff and gutted morale. A little more than a year later, ABC’s Good Morning America is challenging morning leader Today; millions of new eyes are on the network’s work via a content deal with Yahoo; and a partnership with Univision on an English-language news network aimed at acculturated Latinos is on the horizon.

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    “The news division is much more united,” says Sherwood, 48, whose entrepreneurial energy resulted in, among other efforts, breaking down calcified internal silos. A Harvard graduate who attended Oxford on a Rhodes scholarship, Sherwood began his career at ABC in 1989 as an associate producer on the newsmagazine Primetime Live, followed by a stint at NBC News and a return to ABC, where he was named executive producer of GMA in 2004.

    “I think what you’re seeing [on GMA] is a broadcast that’s really clicking,” says Sherwood. So far this season, the gap between Today and GMA stands at just over 500,000 viewers and 450,000 in the critical 25-to-54 demo.

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    With multiple best-selling novels under his belt, Sherwood published his first nonfiction book in 2009, The Survivors Club, about the science of human survival. Since moving back from an L.A. sabbatical to New York with his wife, Imagine Films consultant Karen Kehela-Sherwood, and their two young sons, Sherwood is more likely to be found coaching one of his 7-year-old’s sports teams than at the proverbial typewriter. “I will always love writing,” he says. “But this job taps all of my curiosity and creativity.”

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