CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Disney names news chief Sherwood to co-chair of media networks

Mon Mar 24, 2014 2:18pm EDT

(In headline, corrects title to "co-chair of media networks" instead of "of ABC TV Group")

March 24 (Reuters) - The Walt Disney Co on Monday named ABC News President Ben Sherwood as co-chairman of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney/ABC Television Group, effective Feb. 1, 2015.

Sherwood will replace Anne Sweeney, who announced she was leaving the media conglomerate on March 11.

Effectively immediately, Sherwood will begin making the transition to the new post and will continue to oversee ABC News until a successor is named.

Sherwood, who oversaw ABC's "Good Morning America" as it rose to become the No. 1 morning news program in the United States, was seen as a potential candidate after Sweeney said she was leaving Disney to pursue a career in television directing.

Sherwood started at Disney in 1989 where he served stints as a producer in the news division. He later moved to NBC News before returning to ABC in 2004. As ABC News president, Sherwood created an online news partnership with Yahoo that now reaches nearly 100 million people online and launched a joint venture with Univision, the Fusion cable network aimed at young Hispanic viewers.

ESPN President John Skipper is the other co-chairman of Disney Media Networks. (Reporting by Jennifer Saba in New York and Lisa Richwine in Los Angeles; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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