Las Vegas -- At this point, TV is disrupting the internet, said Ben Sherwood, president of the Disney/ABC Television Group.
While obituaries for the TV business are written periodically, Sherwood, speaking at the 2018 CES in Las Vegas, said “the sky is not falling. I think the sky is rising.”
ABC’s parent The Walt Disney Co. is betting on TV, agreeing to acquire TV studios and cable networks from 21st Century Fox.
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Sherwood said he couldn’t say much about how the deal would change the company.
“I wish I could be entertaining or offer something insightful but with the regulatory process ahead the company has said everything it’s going to say in public,” Sherwood said, adding, “I’m excited about it, and we’ll leave it at that.”
Sherwood noted that “the pace of change is unbelievably fast. Some of us love the volatility and uncertainty and see the opportunity in all that chaos.”
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Disney, he said, “sees a new era ahead.”
Sherwood noted that Disney has plans to launch over-the-top subscription streaming video products based on the Disney and ESPN brands.
Asked about producer Shonda Rhimes, who is inked a production deal with Netflix, Sherwood said “I wish Shonda had stayed.”
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He said Rhimes still has five shows either on the air or in development with ShondaLand. “We’re grateful and wish her the best.”
Also asked about the sudden removal of two male morning show hosts, Sherwood said NBC “made a really good move with Hoda,” naming Hoda Kotb as Matt Lauer’s replacement. He thought CBS made a good move adding John Dickerson to it’s morning show, from which Charlie Rose was fired.
Sherwood noted that NBC had seen an uptick since Lauer was fired. “I like GMA’s chances.”
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