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The Hollywood Reporter Names 2013's 35 Most Powerful People in Media

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    New York Issue
    Ben Sherwood Portrait - H 2012
    Victoria Will
    Ben Sherwood
    President, ABC News

    This story first appeared in the April 26 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

    Since taking over ABC News in late 2010, Sherwood, 49, can boast of several big gets: a Yahoo content partnership; the launch with Univision this summer of Fusion, a new network targeting English-speaking Hispanics; and Peabody Awards for Superstorm Sandy coverage and Robin Roberts’ efforts to promote bone marrow donors.

    But they all pale in comparison to Good Morning America dethroning Today as the morning ratings leader. For the first quarter of 2013, GMA averaged 5.4 million total viewers (and 2 million in the target 25-to-54 demo), nearly 1 million more than its NBC rival. And in 2012, GMA generated $318 million in ad revenues, according to Kantar Media.

    PHOTOS: The 35 Most Powerful People in Media 2013

    “It’s a fun show to watch, it’s a fun show to produce,” Sherwood says of GMA, dismissing criticism that the show is lightweight and has milked Roberts’ recent illness for ratings. “From the get-go, we wanted to balance her privacy with her desire to make her message,” he says.

    The Harvard grad and married father of two boys began as an associate producer at ABC News in 1989 and worked his way up. It hasn’t been perfect — Sherwood was in the studio during Diane Sawyer’s bizarre election-night loopiness (“We both joked about it and moved on,” he says) — but ABC News clearly has momentum.

    FUN FACT: Sherwood’s sister Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall is a special assistant to President Obama. Like her brother, she earned a Rhodes scholarship.

    Click here to read THR's complete 35 Most Powerful People in Media list.

    Continue reading the list