Novel take on ayem at ‘GMA’

Author Sherwood back to television as show's chief

NEW YORK — Novelist Ben Sherwood is returning to TV journalism as exec producer of ABC News’ “Good Morning America,” entering the most fiercely fought daypart in the broadcast network news biz.

Sherwood, who has never worked on a morning show, was recently No. 2 at NBC’s “Nightly News With Tom Brokaw.” Before that, he worked at ABC News as a producer on “Primetime Live.”

Departing the Peacock in January 2002 to write full-time, Sherwood penned the recently published “The Death and Life of Charlie McCloud” and 2002’s “The Man Who Ate the 747.” Both books are being developed as feature films.

At “GMA,” Sherwood will replace Shelley Ross, who last week was named exec producer of ABC newsmag “Primetime Thursday.” Both hires are effective Monday.

Ross isn’t an easy act to follow. Since arriving at “GMA” five years ago, she has been credited with raising the show’s standing and making ratings gains on ayem leader “Today” as well as negotiating the high-profile personalities of “GMA” co-anchors Diane Sawyer and Charles Gibson.

During his previous stint at ABC in the 1990s, Sherwood worked as an investigative producer on “Primetime.” He left in the latter part of the decade to join NBC News.

Last year, Universal Pictures and producer Marc Platt beat out several buyers for Sherwood’s “Charlie St. Cloud.” His earlier “747” was purchased by Warner Bros.-based Bel Air.

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