Skip to main content

CES 2018: Sherwood Won’t Comment on Fox Deal

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.

Read More: Complete Coverage of CES 2018

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.”

Stay in the know — subscribe to the free Broadcasting & Cable eNewsletter.

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.”

CES 2018: As World Turns Digital TV Ads Remain Powerful

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.”

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.