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Ben Sherwood Hollywood Reporter Interview: ABC News Chief Defends'GMA' Robin Roberts Coverage, News Balance

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GOOD MORNING AMERICA
ABC

ABC News chief Ben Sherwood defended "Good Morning America" during an interview with the Hollywood Reporter's Melissa Guthrie, which appeared in the Nov. 2 issue of the magazine.

It's been an intense year for the ABC morning program. "GMA" broke the "Today" show's 16-year winning streak as the number one morning television program, a defeat from which the NBC News rival has yet to fully recover.

Soon after "GMA's" major achievement, co-host Robin Roberts announced she was diagnosed with MDS, a rare blood disorder, that would require her to receive a bone marrow transplant. The ABC morning show has been keeping viewers up-to-date on Roberts' recovery, airing video messages and photos from the ABC morning host's hospital room and home.

The show was accused of attempting to capitalize on Roberts' illness for ratings, a charge the ABC News chief did not take lightly.

"We are doing exactly what Robin has wanted every step of the way," Sherwood told Guthrie. "Every frame of video you see, every mention is our attempt to fulfill Robin's wishes. Chronicling her journey is a very important part, in her view, of her healing process."

The ABC morning show has also been criticized for its growing inclusion of soft news stories—deliberately moving away from hard news to achieve ratings success.

"More people are watching Good Morning America because of the mix of stories we do and because these five anchors are bringing it every day and having a blast. Are we doing stories from investigative to political to international to pop news?..We are constantly working on that balance. The criticism comes with the territory. I would say that folks might be better served focusing on the results of their own decisions," Sherwood said.

Click over to The Hollywood Reporter to read more of Sherwood's interview.

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Ben Sherwood - The Hollywood Reporter

ABC News President Ben Sherwood - The Hollywood Reporter