In his new role, Sherwood will have oversight over not only the ABC broadcast network and its local television stations, but also its entertainment cable outlets including the
Sherwood, who was named president of ABC News in December of 2010, was seen as the leading candidate to replace Sweeney, who this month announced her plans to step down in February 2015 to pursue a creative career.
"Ben is one of those unique executives who combine rich creative experiences with great business acumen," said Disney Chairman and Chief Executive Bob Iger, to whom Sherwood will report.
Sherwood is credited with turning around ABC's morning program
No successor for Sherwood was named by ABC as he officially won't take over for Sweeney for almost a year. James Goldston, ABC News senior vice president for content and development, is considered the likely choice for the job, network insiders said.
Sherwood was seen as an unusual choice when Sweeney tapped him to succeed
Sweeney initially sought Sherwood's counsel on potential heads of ABC News. After several conversations, she ended up offering him the job.
"Over the years, he has moved from success to success, and helped create a more vibrant, collaborative and powerful news division that embraces innovation and risk-taking," Sweeney said in a statement.