ABC News chief open to Bloomberg partnership

By Margaret O'Brien
Posted Jan. 10 at 2:36 p.m.

The new head of ABC News said Monday he was open to a possible partnership with Bloomberg News as the news network seeks to expand its links with social and other media after a major restructuring in 2010.

Ben Sherwood, appointed president of ABC News in December, told television journalists at the Television Critics’ Association meetings in Pasadena that he wanted the network’s news division to expand its links with Facebook and other organizations.

“We are open to all kinds of opportunities. We are always looking for partnerships to expand the reach of ABC,” Sherwood said.

Asked if that included Bloomberg News, Sherwood said he had no had no news to break on that front, but added; “Of course. How can you not think about partnering with an organization that has had the success Bloomberg has?”

Sherwood did not give details. Anne Sweeney, president of Disney/ABC Television Group, told Reuters in November that ABC News has been in talks with Bloomberg about forming a partnership but no details have been given.

“The pathway to more greatness for ABC News is going to come through tapping into the technology that people are using to get their news,” Sherwood said Monday.

ABC News, owned by Walt Disney Co, is mostly ranked second behind NBC News, part of the NBC network owned by General Electric Co.

Last year, then ABC News president David Westin laid off some 20 percent of the network’s news staff, cutting between 300-400 jobs to expand the use of digital journalism in which reporters shoot and edit their own material. Westin resigned in September.

Asked whether more layoffs were in the pipeline, Sherwood said: “I think the hard work was done by David…I feel that work has been done. My mission going forward is to make ABC news better and stronger.

“There is not a plan for any more of what has gone on in the last year. We have to be more successful in the news division and we are going to be more successful,” he said.

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