After giving ABC News’ “Good Morning America” a healthy jolt, Shelley Ross will head for the toughest night on TV as the new exec producer of “Primetime Thursday.”
ABC News prexy David Westin announced the news late Wednesday, ending weeks of speculation about Ross’ next career move, including whether she would leave the Alphabet.
Giving Ross the high-profile “Primetime” gig ensures she won’t go to a competing shop anytime soon.
“For some time I have been asking Shelley to identify her next challenge now that she has successfully revamped and fully re-energized the ‘Good Morning America’ franchise,” Westin said.
The ayem show’s ratings and profile have steadily climbed since Ross took over as exec producer five years ago, although NBC News’ “Today” remains the market leader.
ABC News is reportedly in talks with TV news producer Ben Sherwood about taking over as exec producer of “GMA.” Sherwood has worked at both ABC News and NBC News in recent years.
Ross will begin at “Primetime Thursday” in the coming weeks. Newsmag airs at 10 p.m., against NBC’s “ER” and CBS’ “Without a Trace.”
Show was left without an exec producer with David Doss’ recent departure.
“There are tremendous challenges in primetime. But with shows like “Friends” leaving the Thursday schedule, there is an opportunity,” Ross said. “The audience will be shifting around.”
Ross is no stranger to the nighttime newsmag scene, having worked at “Primetime Live” for many years before joining “GMA,” developing a rep for being hard-driven and aggressive.
“GMA” co-anchors Charles Gibson and Diane Sawyer both offered their congrats to Ross, saying she has been an indomitable force in turning the show around.