Ben Sherwood‘s biggest success as president of ABC News was guiding “Good Morning America” to the top of the morning ratings after 16 years of “Today” dominance.
Sherwood will replace Anne Sweeney as co-chairman of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney/ABC Television Group beginning in February. He earned the new job in part by boosting “GMA,” a show he executive produced before leaving ABC in 2006. He returned in 2010.
“GMA” broke the “Today” winning streak on April 9, 2012 — 16 months after he took over as head of ABC News. Since June 25, 2012, ABC’s early show has topped NBC’s 85 out of 89 weeks. The four weeks that it fell short were when NBC had the 2012 Summer Games and the 2014 Winter Games.
“GMA” has also grown with each year that Sherwood’s been in charge.
During the 2010-11 season, “Good Morning America” averaged 4.6 million total viewers daily, and 1.8 million in the key demographic. That was good enough for second place.
So far this season, “GMA” averages 5.8 million viewers — 2.2 million in the demo — and sits in a fairly comfortable first place among morning shows. From Sherwood’s initial season helming “GMA” to the current run, the show is up 25 percent in viewers, both overall and in the key demo.
Here are the year-to-year gains under Sherwood: