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Good Morning America
Good Morning America title card used since October 22, 2007
Format Morning news and talk show
Created by Donald L. Perris
William F. Baker
Presented by Robin Roberts (2002–present)
George Stephanopoulos (2009–present)
JuJu Chang (2009–present)
Sam Champion (2006–present)
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 8,779 (as of August 7, 2009)
Location(s) Times Square Studios
New York, New York
Running time 180 minutes
120 minutes (weekday ABC telecast)
60 minutes (ABC News Now telecast and weekend ABC telecast)
Original channel ABC
Picture format 480i (SDTV),
720p (HDTV)
Original airing November 3, 1975
External links Official website

Good Morning America (GMA) is an American morning news and talk show that is broadcast on the ABC television network; it debuted on November 3, 1975. The weekday program airs for two hours; a third hour, available exclusively on ABC News Now, was introduced in 2007. Its current one-hour weekend edition débuted in 2004.

The program features news, talk, weather and special-interest stories. The program is produced by the ABC News division for the network and broadcasts from the Times Square Studios in Times Square, New York.

The program is hosted by Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos. Longtime co-anchor Charles Gibson left the program on June 28, 2006, to become the anchor of ABC World News, and Diane Sawyer left the program on December 11, 2009, to anchor the evening news program after Gibson retired.

GMA has traditionally run second in the ratings to NBC's Today since 1995[1], but overtook its rival for a period from the late 1980s to the mid-1990s under the anchor team of Gibson and Joan Lunden. GMA won the first two Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Morning Program, sharing the inaugural 2007 award with Today and winning the 2008 award outright.



1975: The inaugural year

On January 6, 1975, ABC launched AM America in an attempt to compete with NBC's Today. ABC's show was hosted by Bill Beutel and Stephanie Edwards, with Peter Jennings and Robert Kennedy reading the news. Because the show could not find an audience against Today (and its anchor team of Jim Hartz and Barbara Walters), ABC sought a new approach. They found that one of their affiliates, WEWS in Cleveland, Ohio, was not broadcasting AM America but instead was airing a locally produced show The Morning Exchange.

Unlike AM America and Today, The Morning Exchange featured an easygoing and less-dramatic approach by offering news and weather updates only at the top and bottom of every hour and used the rest of the time to discuss general-interest/entertainment topics. The Morning Exchange also established a group of regular guests who were experts in certain fields such as health, entertainment, consumer affairs, travel, etc. Also unlike both the NBC and ABC shows, The Morning Exchange was not broadcast from a newsroom set but instead one that resembled a suburban living room.

ABC took an episode of The Morning Exchange and used it as a pilot episode. After rave reviews for the pilot, the format replaced AM America in November 1975 as Good Morning America. GMA's first host was David Hartman, featuring Nancy Dussault as his co-host. Dussault was replaced in 1977 by Sandy Hill.

1976–1989: Growth and change

The program's ratings climbed slowly but steadily throughout the 1970s and into the 1980s while Today experienced a slight slump in viewership, especially with Walters's decision to leave NBC for a job at ABC News. On August 30, 1976, Tom Brokaw began anchoring Today while a search was made for a female co-host. Within a year, Today managed to beat back the GMA ratings threat with Brokaw and new co-host Jane Pauley, featuring art and entertainment contributor Gene Shalit.

GMA continued to threaten Today into the 1980s, especially after Brokaw left Today to become NBC Nightly News co-anchor with Roger Mudd for seventeen months before being named Nightly News's sole anchor. For the first time, GMA became the highest-rated morning news program in the United States as Today fell to second place.[citation needed]

At the outset, GMA was a talk program with a main host, Hartman, who was joined by a sidekick co-host; Dussault and Hill were scripted as less-than-equal hosts. In 1980, Hill left GMA and was replaced by Joan Lunden, an anchor for WABC, an ABC-owned affiliate in New York City. Hartman and Lunden led the show through several seasons of success. Lunden's popularity led to her promotion to co-anchor. The partnership ended on February 20, 1987, when Hartman retired following 3,189 programs.

After Hartman's retirement, Lunden was paired with Gibson on February 23, 1987, and ratings skyrocketed for GMA. They became the most-popular news partnership on television in the late 1980s and early 1990s and, for the first time, GMA regularly won the ratings against Today.

1990–1998: Rise and decline

Good Morning America entered the 1990s with its overwhelming ratings success.[citation needed] Gibson and Lunden were a hard couple to beat.[citation needed] But GMA stumbled from its top spot in late 1995. Lunden began to discuss working less, and mentioned to network exectives that the morning schedule is the hardest in the business.[citation needed] ABC executives promised Lunden a prime time program; Behind Closed Doors would be on the network schedule.[citation needed] On September 5, 1997, Lunden decided to step down after seventeen years on GMA and was replaced by Lisa McRee. The show was almost killed[2] when Gibson, too, left the show to make way for Kevin Newman in 1998. With McRee and Newman as anchors of GMA, long-time viewers switched to Today, whose ratings skyrocketed and have remained at the top spot since the week of December 11, 1995.[citation needed]

January 1999–May 2005: The Gibson–Sawyer period

To revive GMA, ABC News negotiated Gibson's return, teaming him up with Diane Sawyer, on January 18, 1999. The team was meant to be temporary until ABC News could find permanent replacements. However, GMA's ratings once again increased and battled Today for viewership, though it has not yet proclaimed a victory in weekly viewership over Today. ABC News stuck with Gibson and Sawyer as anchors for six years. Until March 18, 2002, the news was anchored by Antonio Mora. When he left to anchor WBBM-TV in Chicago, Illinois, Robin Roberts, a former ESPN anchor, replaced Mora.

The show moved from the ABC News headquarters in Lincoln Square to its present home at the Times Square Studios on September 13, 1999. The new location made it possible for the program to feature a live audience outside the studio (similar to Today).

May 2005–June 2006: The Gibson–Roberts–Sawyer period

On May 23, 2005, ABC News announced that Roberts, the show's news anchor, would be promoted to co-anchor. Previously, she had been regularly substituting for Gibson and Sawyer.

As of 2008, GMA had still not prevailed over Today in the ratings since 1995, although it had a few one-show victories, on the day after Pope John Paul II's funeral, and then with a Mariah Carey concert, both in 2005. GMA has won in timeslots in large markets like New York City, which might have been an indication that the audience was migrating from Today. Recently, however, the viewership gap between Today and GMA has widened again.

On November 3, 2005, GMA celebrated its thirtieth birthday with recaps to 1975 and by decorating Times Square. Former co-hosts Hartman and Lunden, along with former meteorologist Spencer Christian were among the guests of honor. Hartman signed off the show that day with his trademark close "From all of us, make it a good day." On that day GMA became the first morning news show to broadcast in HDTV.

On December 2, 2005, weatherman Tony Perkins left the program; he had been the weather personality since 1999. The last ten minutes of the day's show was dedicated to Perkins, during which he gave thanks to one of the show's producers and a heartfelt goodbye to the three anchors, Gibson, Roberts and Sawyer. Perkins announced that he was going to go home to his family and would be living in Washington, D.C., where he would go back to WTTG-TV, where he was previously a weather personality. He affectionately said to his young child on the air, "Connor, if you're watching, daddy's comin' home." Perkins was replaced by Mike Barz, former morning sports anchor for WGN-TV in Chicago.

Gibson left GMA on June 28, 2006. The program was dedicated to his nineteen years as its anchor and celebrated his move to the anchor chair at ABC World News. Gibson ended his tenure by stating, "For nineteen years, my mornings have been not just good — they've been great."[3]

June 2006–December 2009: The Sawyer–Roberts period

There had been speculation that Sawyer would leave GMA when her contract expired in 2007 because she was coveting the ABC World News anchor job which was given to Gibson. In August 2006, Chris Cuomo was named news anchor. He has since continued his anchoring duties on ABC News's Primetime as well as remaining as ABC News's senior legal correspondent. Meanwhile, Sam Champion was named GMA's new weather anchor as well as ABC News weather editor. Both Cuomo and Champion began their respective duties on the program September 5, 2006, when GMA instituted a new graphics package, and new news area for Cuomo to report the news. Also, beginning on September 13, 2006, GMA introduced a new logo — this time with gold font on a blue background. This logo bore a resemblance to the initial GMA logo that was used up to early 1987, and coincided with the show's conversion to HDTV, the first morning show to convert.

On June 29, 2007, movie critic for the show, Joel Siegel died, at age 63, from complications from colon cancer. The July 9 episode was dedicated to Siegel, with former cast members Hartman, Hill, Lunden, Newman, Christian, Perkins and Gibson all appearing to share their memories.

On July 31, 2007, Roberts announced that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer, and that she had discovered the lump in a self-examination while preparing the Siegel tribute episode. She remained as anchor while going through chemotherapy and completed radiation treatments as of March 28, 2008.

On October 22, 2007, GMA introduced its new on-screen appearance. Using much of its old on-screen appearance design features, it went from a basic blue setting to a more orangish-gold setting. GMA's opening changed from the camera zooming in on the hosts while introducing the host, to an opening with new music (by the New York City-based music production company DreamArtists Studios) and a background with the GMA logo falling onto the screen. It also changed its on-screen ticker and bug for the first time in years. The ticker features an orange background with the modified ABC News logo. The bug still featured the time to the left but with an orange back drop with the letters GMA and ABC logo to the right.

After a couple of appearances on GMA, British fashion advisers Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine reported on the fashion at the 80th Academy Awards especially for the show.

On January 15, 2008, during an interview with Sawyer, the actress Diane Keaton admired Sawyer's beauty, stating that if she had lips like Sawyer's, "then I wouldn't have worked on my fucking personality!" She said that she would also be married by now. Keaton quickly apologized for the remark and Sawyer threatened to have her mother "work on your personality with soap in your mouth." While this would formerly have been in violation of the Federal Communications Commission's decency laws, incurring a fine for ABC News, GMA's producer and distributor, officials of the FCC have stated that recent legal action and resultant policy changes may confound any action it chooses to take.[4] Following the death of Michael Jackson, Gibson retuned to the GMA anchor desk with Roberts on June 26, 2009, while Sawyer was away.

Since December 2009: The Roberts-Stephanopoulos period

On September 2, 2009, ABC announced that Gibson would step down as anchor of ABC World News at the end of 2009 with Sawyer being named as his successor.[5] Speculation had been swirling that Stephanopoulos, weekend anchor Bill Weir, Weekend World News anchor David Muir were top contenders to replace Sawyer when she departed. ABC News signaled that it wanted to return the show to the original male-female format. Many sources close to show have stated that the network wanted Stephanopoulos for the position, but that Stephanopoulos still wanted to continue his This Week duties. Executives at ABC News were worried that if Stephanopoulos got the position, the entire show would have to be reformatted to fit his journalism style. In the weeks before Sawyer announced she was leaving, the momentum shifted to Cuomo getting the position because of his established chemistry with Roberts. On December 10, 2009, it was announced that Stephanopoulos would replace Sawyer and JuJu Chang would replace Cuomo, effective December 14, 2009[6].

Weekend editions

The first weekend edition of GMA aired on Sundays only from January 3, 1993, to February 28, 1999, hosted by Willow Bay, Aaron Brown, John Hockenberry, Dana King, Lisa McRee, Antonio Mora, Kevin Newman, and Bill Ritter.

ABC found that it needed to start a Saturday edition of the program after several incidents between 2001 and 2003 where the network was the last to break news because of its commitment to airing the ABC Kids block on Saturday mornings, the most-serious incident being the 2003 Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, where the network had to balance the need of breaking the tragic news with the cartoons and teen sitcoms being aired for a young audience while the news broke and federal E/I requirements. The network's affiliates were disappointed in ABC News not providing full coverage, and had to depend on feeds from CNN and APTN News.

The current version debuted September 4, 2004, with John Green as executive producer, Max Schindler director, and Bill Weir and Kate Snow as co-anchors. Ron Claiborne is the news anchor and Marysol Castro is the weather anchor. Castro also reports on a wide range of subjects from lifestyle trends to breaking news and entertainment. All four have substitute anchored the weekday version of the program. In July 2007, Andrew Morse replaced Green as executive producer of Good Morning America Weekend Edition.

The start time for the Saturday and Sunday editions of GMA vary between ABC affiliates, though the standard timeslot for the program is the same as its weekday editions at 7 a.m. in all time zones, and most ABC affiliates air the Saturday edition GMA immediately before the ABC Kids block and the Sunday edition before This Week.

Whistle-stop tour 2008

Beginning September 2008, the GMA's anchors rode an Amtrak train as part of ABC News's "50 States in 50 Days". The tour's first telecasted stop was in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

Good Morning America Radio (2006–2009)

In January 2006, GMA launched a radio edition of the program on XM Radio's Take Five. The show incorporates features and news from the television edition as well as allows fans to discuss these topics. The radio edition is hosted by Hilarie Barksy and aired Monday through Saturday from 8am to Noon ET.


Current hosts

Past hosts

Past news anchors

Contributors and correspondents

International broadcasts

In Australia, the Nine Network and regional affiliates WIN and NBN air GMA on Tuesday to Fridays from 3.30am. Friday's edition airs on Saturday mornings at 4.30am. The Sunday edition airs on Monday mornings at 4am. The program is condensed into a ninety-minute format. A national weather map of Australia is during cut-aways to local affiliates for weather information. GMA airs at the same time as NBC's Today on the Seven Network and Network Ten's CBS Early Show. It is unchallenged, ratings wise, in some regional areas where other affiliates preempt their networks' US breakfast programs with paid and religious programming.

Orbit Showtime airs GMA on its America Plus channel from Mondays through Fridays live at 11:00 GMT / 1300 CET in the Middle East and Europe.

In the Philippines, GMA's weekday edition is aired on Velvet from Tuesday to Saturday at 1am local time and then repeated at 9am and 1pm. The weekend edition is aired on Sundays and Mondays.


In 2010, Good Morning America was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for "Outstanding TV Journalism Segment" for the segment "Total Transformation: Why Chaz Bono Decided to Change" during the 21st GLAAD Media Awards.[7]

See also


External links

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