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Breaking: Ben Sherwood to Lead ABC News

First on TVNewser: Anne Sweeney, the president of Disney/ABC Television has named Ben Sherwood to lead  the news division, TVNewser has learned. Sherwood is the former Executive Producer of “Good Morning America.”

Developing…

Sherwood left ABC and “Good Morning America” in June 2006. He made the move to the West Coast and continued to write books. One of which, The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud, , was made into a major motion picture last summer.

Before ABC, Sherwood was with NBC News as a senior producer on the “NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw.”

Writes Sweeney in a note to staff: “Those of you who worked with Ben during his previous tenures at ABC News on PrimeTime and Good Morning America know him to be the quintessential journalist, with the integrity and innovative spirit that defines ABC News.”

David Westin announced in early September that he would be leaving the company — where he’s been president since March 1997.

Insiders tell us Westin is writing a book about his time at the network which will include some of the difficult decisions he’s had to make over the last 13 years.

> More: Internal email from Anne Sweeney, after the jump…

Team,

I am immensely pleased to announce that Ben Sherwood has been named our new President of ABC News, responsible for all aspects of our global news business including editorial, programming, digital and other business related aspects of the division.

Those of you who worked with Ben during his previous tenures at ABC News on PrimeTime and Good Morning America know him to be the quintessential journalist, with the integrity and innovative spirit that defines ABC News. During his stellar career, he’s served as investigative journalist, associate producer, producer, senior broadcast producer and executive producer, who helped guide award-winning coverage of the biggest stories of the day, including the attacks of September 11th, the controversial 2000 election, the tsunami in Southeast Asia, and hurricane Katrina.

The press release announcing his appointment and detailing his remarkable career as an award-winning journalist, widely published essayist, best-selling author and digital media entrepreneur is attached. I’m sure you’ll agree Ben is the absolute best choice to lead this best-in-class news organization into the next phase of success.

As we make this transition I want to thank each of you for your dedication, hard work, and patience. I know the uncertainty during this search was challenging in many ways, and I appreciate your support and your unwavering commitment to excellence throughout the process. Ben’s leadership backed by your talent ensures we’re prepared for even greater success.

Please join me in welcoming Ben Sherwood back to ABC News.

For those of you here in New York, please join me in TV3 at 10:30 a.m. to welcome Ben back personally.

Anne

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