04/10/2014 09:00 am ET Updated Apr 10, 2014

James Goldston Named ABC News' Next President

ABC News announced Thursday that James Goldston will be the new president of the network.

The news comes after much speculation that Goldston, currently senior vice president of ABC News, would succeed outgoing president Ben Sherwood. Sherwood is leaving to become Disney/ABC Television Group president.

Sherwood praised Goldston, a British television producer who joined ABC News in 2004, in a statement released Thursday, calling him "an award-winning journalist, masterful programmer, and innovative businessman."

The statement chronicled Goldston's rapid rise at the network. Sherwood credited Goldston with helping "re-imagine and re-invigorate" "Nightline" as the show's former executive producer. Among the other accomplishments Sherwood highlighted was Goldston's time as senior executive producer of "Good Morning America," which finally toppled "Today" during his tenure.

Goldston takes over at an optimistic time for the division: in addition to "GMA" being the number one network morning show, "This Week" just beat NBC's "Meet the Press" for the third quarter in a row. He will, of course, be expected to continue that momentum, and overseeing a smooth transition after the recent shakeup at "GMA" will surely be one of Goldston's top priorities.

Goldston came to ABC News from ITV's "Tonight," along with Martin Bashir. His appointment Thursday means that two of the three network news divisions will now be led by Brits. Deborah Turness came from the UK to head NBC News last year.