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ABC News Boss Ben Sherwood Named Anne Sweeney's Successor As ABC Television Group President!

Courtesy/ABC

Courtesy/ABC

That didn’t take long! After the much bantered about upcoming departure of ABC Television Group President Anne Sweeney, her successor has been named!

ABC News chief, Ben Sherwood will now take over the position of co-chairman, Disney Media Networks and president, Disney/ABC Television Group on February 1, 2015, a day after  Sweeney’s exit.

According to Deadline.com, “Sherwood’s appointment comes after a short search, with the news wiz considered an early frontrunner as Disney again looked within ranks for the next top executive hire.  Sherwood will begin the transition as Co-President, Disney/ABC Television Group alongside Sweeney immediately, while also continuing to oversee ABC News until a successor is named.

“Ben is one of those unique executives who combine rich creative experience with great business acumen,” Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger said. “He’s also focused, strategic, and competitive, as evidenced by the success of GMA, the Yahoo deal that delivered ABC News online dominance, and his vision behind our new cable and digital joint venture, Fusion. These reasons, and many others, make Ben the ideal candidate to oversee the future of the Disney/ABC Television Group.”

It is Sherwood’s accomplishments as head of the ABC News division that propelled him to the reins of Disney’s entire non-sports TV portfolio. Among them is leading Good Morning America to No. 1, brokering a successful online partnership with Yahoo to and launching Fusion, a joint venture news and lifestyle network with Univision.

“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,” Anne Sweeney said. “Ben’s now set to bring those same attributes to bear for the larger group, and I could not be more thrilled. This announcement simply highlights the fact that our talent and succession planning process works.”

So, what are your thoughts on the hiring of Ben Sherwood?  Will he be a friend to the soaps?  Let us know your thoughts!

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boes
Guest
boes

I think it’s irrelevant for soap fans anymore WHO they put in charge. Sweeney and Frons did the dirty work and cleared away the soaps. All that’s left for this guy to do is to put the nail in GH’s coffin – or not.
Guaranteed, whatever he does, it won’t matter a rats behind whether the viewers are happy or not.

Rose Anne
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Rose Anne

This is extremely bad news for soap fans. He supposedly wanted the flop that was Good Afternoon America to replace GH.

jimh(leave it to beaver)
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jimh(leave it to beaver)

He’s probably more interested in news programs than soaps…

SUSAN M.
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SUSAN M.

Probably Interested in their dumb solution to put on more talk & cooking shows.. Which would be a disaster…

Dan
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Dan

The only thing I care about is that he doesn’t touch GH. Getting rid of AMC and OLTL was a huge mistake by ABC, and getting rid of their last remaining and most popular soap would be an even bigger one.

rebecca1
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rebecca1

Arrrrrgh!!!! Dan…I LOVE GH! But as a viewer of ABC’s OLTL I have to correct you…it was higher in the ratings than GH…GH was NOT the most popular before “the fall.” Don’t get me wrong…I watched GH back then too…loved them both. But OLTL was not cancelled due to poor ratings or lack of popularity.

aria
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aria

Here we go again, ok rebecca( I’m rolling my eyes), oltl was accidently incorrectly, wrongfully and mistakenly picked to get cancelled be evil abc and it should of been AMC and GH . happy now? Feel validated? oltl was better(i’m giggling) then GH, it holds the record as the soap with most emmy wins(oh wait thats GH) and record for the most watched episode in daytme history.(oh wait that was GH again), furthermore Time magazine, TV guide listed as the most popular soap of all time( damn is that GH again?) oh and don’t forget it was abc top soap… Read more »

udhoop
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udhoop

oltl was higher in the ratings when it left the air due to people watching its final days. it was not higher at the time it was announced they were canceling it. Arrrrrgh….I get so tired of hearing this from oltl fans. Get it straight!

jonboy
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jonboy

Relishing in your own sarcasm? If it makes you feel better, I suppose.

rebecca1
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rebecca1

Aria…aside from the fact that you’re apparently obnoxious…and you can roll your eyes, lol and giggle with the best of them…I reiterate… OLTL was not canceled due to a lack of popularity. At a point close to when it was canceled, OLTL numbers went up slightly (from 2.5 million to 2.6 million). And it was the only soap not to dip in the key demo. “Two years ago, there were fears that “General Hospital” would be cancelled, like their sister shows “One Life To Live,” and “All My Children.” At that time, the ratings for “General Hospital” was not as… Read more »

aria
Guest
aria

rebecca rebecca rebecca, ok, in oltl entire history, they only beat GH in the ratings for an entire season 3 times, 2 of those were in the 70’s and the last time was their final season(2011-2012) so base on that if your an executive at abc and your told we are getting rid of 2 of our 3 soaps and you got to take into account everything from history, to revenue,& prestige (i.e emmy wins) do you really think oltl was their most valuable real estate among their soaps? yes, they were having a creative and ratings upsurge but that… Read more »

rebecca1
Guest
rebecca1

Aria…I truly believe you have a reading comprehension thing going on. Where oh where did I “bash” GH? If you had actually read my “pleasant” first response…I said I had watched BOTH shows…LOVED both shows…and wouldn’t want EITHER one to be cancelled. I would have been equally disappointed if GH had been canceled instead of OLTL. I simply stated that OLTL was still popular, still had decent ratings…and at the time of the fall…was higher than GH.

READ…don’t just gloss over someone’s words. And don’t ATTACK with that smug attitude that you gave me. Learn to discuss/debate…

Aria
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Aria

Point taken I can concede that I misread what you said, sorry for offending you, not my intention.

joliefan88
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joliefan88

Bravo Rebecca! Your posts were pleasent and absolutely correct. Some people need to grow up

rebecca1
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rebecca1

Aria…you need to reread your posts to me and then decide whether it was your “not your intention to offend me.” Because if that was NOT your intention…I can only imagine how offensive you could be if you put your mind to it.

With that said, thank you for the apology. Accepted.

rebecca1
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rebecca1

Joliefan88…thanks! 😉

Aria
Guest
Aria

I don’t want to directly offend you Rebecca. I was trying to pre empt any attack from OLTL fans towards GH , and yes I was high on sarcasm that day but that’s me n I can take any attack back I just don’t want u thinking it was personal because no one should be attacked personally. I felt justified from a GH fan vs a OLTL fan, although u clearly stated u were a fan of both shows. So will I irritate someone else with the GH vs OLTL ? I surely hope so but it won’t be no… Read more »

Mary SF
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Mary SF

It sounds like this guy has never watched a soap in in his life, so I doubt he will do much for the genre on that network except be the guy who finally kills their last daytime drama.

SUSAN M.
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SUSAN M.

They always put these crappy talk shows & cooking shows which are so forgettable! They have no drama, emotion what so ever and its NOT entertainment..

Marco
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Marco

I don’t trust him or abc. He will try, to cancel general hospital. Abc want out of the soap business.

rebecca1
Guest
rebecca1

never heard of him…but I’m wary as to what his approach will be to soaps. if he’s that much of a businessman…and is good at turning a profit…he may not want to keep GH on for the long run if it’s not lucrative. risky…

jp
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jp

Is he bringing back OLTL to the daytime line on ABC? Otherwise, I could care less who takes over the position.

Kevin
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Kevin

But it’s ABC … who cares?!?!?

Maria
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Maria

Oh kevin, you are being a smart ass. yes we all care, about gh, we love the soap. If it gets cancelled? I’m done with abc.

Charday
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Charday

Hope the ratings stay good!

Ghlover
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Ghlover

Could CBS just please buy GH????

Rapids
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Rapids

Some of us need to get a grip on reality, soaps are not a priority,. The lack of interest from TV executives is not a vendetta, soaps don’t make much money anymore to justify the production cost. General hospital is on borrowed time and if it is still around two years from now I will be surprised. Regardless of who is running the show.

rebecca1
Guest
rebecca1

Rapids…very well said and unfortunately correct. But, this is a soap fan site…so of course the comments voice concern that this guy will bring GH down. Michael asked for reaction to this guy’s hiring…that’s what he got.

dg
Guest
dg

People need to face the facts Disney never cared and doesnt care about soaps now. Their bottom line is profits and moving toward the future. Eventually GH will get the ax too. Disney isnt going to shell out any new money to keep it going. It’s only a matter of time.

joliefan88
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joliefan88

Disney has nothing to do it with weather or not GH stays on. ABC says what shows they keep and what ones they don’t

dg
Guest
dg

You are so misinformed. Disney is ABC’s parent company. They bankroll whatever the network does. They decide where their money goes.

Nancy
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Nancy

I do not think that he will replace GH. If he wants to watch ABC get worse than it is then good luck. He will have to find out the hard way. Why do you think Sweeney is leaving? Tanked network. I do not see GH as a threat to try more crap. Obviously he will try GAA again. That is laughable.

dg
Guest
dg

Disney doesnt care much for ABC anyway. There bread and butter is not this lousy little TV network. Their bread and butter is the theme parks and movies and tons of other entertainment companies that they have acquired and continue to acquire. Disney is a multi billion dollar conglomerate. Im really surprised they havent sold ABC off by now.

Barbara Weaver
Guest
Barbara Weaver

Ben Sherwood, I would like to watch general hospital on the abc app. I’m a big fan of abc. When they interrupted it a special new report. I will miss it. I sometimes watch gh on my ipad. I know that they have on demand show. Can you help me with abc app. Thanks

Aria
Guest
Aria

Hey Barbara I too was hoping for the abc apt , it’s so complicated now, u can’t watch same day episode or u have to have permission from your cable provider . It’s a big o mess. I don’t know how bad it is where you’re from with the network or local station interrupting your show for stupid little late breaking news but if you miss one episode then I recommend iTunes it’s easy and the best way to catch up on episode it costs just a few bucks is not bad if you don’t get interrupted all the time.

SUSAN M.
Guest
SUSAN M.

He would like to shove down our throats more talk & cooking shows .. That would really piss me off.. I have been a soap fan for many years and this what I like to watch in the afternoon. Anything else other then the soaps I would NEVER watch. This would be the final straw that broke the camels back…And there are talk shows that were suppose to be cancelled and they are still on. (example: Katie)… Those kind of shows are very forgettable. They can’t compare to our stories in any way.

Edna Barefoot
Guest
Edna Barefoot

I have read all the comments Michael & those that want to trash OLTL & want OLTL fans to shut up need to think what would they do if their soap, GH, was cancelled. Fans of OLTL are helping GH stay on. We decided to watch GH even after out beloved soap was cancelled in order to help GH’s ratings. GH would be gone had it not been for OLTL & AMC fans agreeing to watch GH to keep it on TV. I love GH but OLTL was my favorite, as everyone that knows me knows that. I will continue… Read more »

Tony Evans
Guest
Tony Evans

It matters not to me who is working over at ABC-TV as far as the Execs go. The damage has been done, it seems doubtful that One Life to Live nor ALL MY CHILDREN could resurface at this point. If the powers at the helm were smart, they would combine the cast members available from each show and make one new soap – All My Children Have One life to live – (kidding about the Title) – utilizing the seasoned talents of Erika Slezak, Robin Strasser, Jill Larsen and others ~ but alas, that will probably not happen.

Jennifer
Guest
Jennifer

Time to move on Tony. Erika Slezak will land on another soap. Maybe she can be, the new Caroline Brady on days of our lives. Peggy Mckay needs to retire now.

dg
Guest
dg

If Erika Slezak wanted to work in other venues I sure she could have found another job somewhere else by now. Ive seen former One Life stars pop up all over TV not just in the 4 soaps.
I see former soap stars all over entertainment in film and wherever.

dg
Guest
dg

People need to give up on AMC and OLTL they are toast. Time to move on like the actors have. In the words of Frozen. Let it Go, lol.

Breaking News

DAYS and GH Director Joe Behar Passes Away at 94

Joseph Behar was heavyweight director in daytime drama having worked on both Days of our Lives and General Hospital and now comes word of his passing. Behar passed away on June 26th at the age of 94.

According to his obit, he died at his home in Manhattan Beach, California.

Joe spent the the bulk of his career directing Days of Our Lives and General Hospital.  He actually directed the pilot episode of General Hospital back in 1963, then came back the ABC daytime drama series 30 years later to direct it for more than 10 more years,.

Along the way, he won 5 Daytime Emmys for his work on GH, and had won six overall throughout his career. He continued directing until his retirement back in 2005.

Behar’s career started on the Ernie Kovacs Show and he also directed Let’s Make a Deal. and more.

Photo: JPI

He is survived by his wife, Carolyn and his sons, Jeffrey, Steven and Greg Behar and his grandchildren, Alex, Mallory, Niko and Lydia.

Watch an interview with Joe via the TV Academy on his career including working with Frances Reid (Ex-Alice, DAYS), the pace of directing in daytime and more below.

Share your remembrances and condolences for Joe and his family in the comment section.

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General Hospital

GH’s James Patrick Stuart Releases His New Album ‘Clean Slate’

On Thursday, the highly-anticipated nine song set from General Hospital’s James Patrick Stuart (Valentin Cassadine) dropped  on Apple Music

The album entitled “Clean Slate” features the tracks: “Look Out Below”,  “My Funny Friend”, “Can U Feel Me?”, “World of Good”, “Don’t Tell Me”, “I Burn For You”, “Always Love You”, “Another Time”, and “My One and Only Love”.

Photo: japastuTwitter

Fans of General Hospital, always love when James performs at the Nurses Ball’ but now here, Stuart delivers several original songs with his unique vocal style that make it unmistakable JPS.

Check out a preview of the album below.

Now, let us know if you will be adding “Clean Slate” to your playlists and more via the comment section below.

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General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Austin Reveals His True Identity

Leave it to many GH fans who guessed right as to just who Roger Howarth’s new character of Austin will turn out to be!  On Tuesday’s episode of the ABC daytime drama series, we learned the last name of the character who is related to the Quartermaine’s.

For weeks, Austin has seemed to be fixated on Michael Corinthos (Chad Duell) and the Q’s and now with this cliffhanger of a reveal we know why.

At a key family business meeting at the Q’s, Scott (Kin Shriner) who now seems in cahoots with Austin for a piece of the Quartermaine pie, brings Austin to the gathering.

 

When Austin arrives, Brook Lynn (Amanda Setton) looks none-to-pleased!  She clearly knows the guy.  When Michael struts up to Austin asking who he is and what is he doing here … Austin introduced himself as Austin Gaitlin-Holt.  Michael and everyone else look a bit perplexed as we fade to black.

However, GH history buffs know that Jimmy Lee Holt was the son of Edward Quartermaine and his mistress Beatrice LeSuer.  Jimmy Lee did some pretty reprehensible things while he was in Port Charles.  When he left he married Charity Gaitlin.  Upon the death of Edward Q. back in 2012, Jimmy Lee was left out of his inheritance.  Therein must lie some of the story…. and now Roger Howarth fans eagerly await to see how this new doctor in town and Quartermaine turns out to be.  Will he be a bad boy, or a misunderstood good guy?  We shall see.

So, what did you think of Austin being revealed to be Austin Gaitlin-Holt? Share your thoughts in the comment section, and also cast your vote in our poll on Roger’s new character below.

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