An executive source with ABC News states that negotiations now exist between the network and George Stephanopoulos over the co-anchor spot on Good Morning America. Currently ABC’s political expert, Stephanopoulos has reportedly stated that he will take the job if it is offered. He has been considered the top contender to fill Diane Sawyer’s position on the popular morning show. Sawyer departed to take over the anchor job on World News.
The anonymous executive, who could not be identified due to the lack of authorization to speak on the issue, confirmed to the Washington Post that the “ball” was in his court to either turn down or accept the offer.
ABC would not comment on the report nor would reps from Stephanopoulos, who currently hosts the Sunday political talk show This Week and would move to New York if he accepts the position.
GMA news anchor Chris Cuomo has also been said to be in the running for the post, but an ABC spokesman said the network is working within a timetable “established three months ago” and will not be making any announcements until the process is complete.
It’s not all peaches and cream for Mr. Stephanopoulos. He is reportedly wary of losing the hard-news cred he’s built up over the years. When he first came to ABC, many dismissed him as a Democratic lapdog, but he’s become a respected analyst who is tough on both parties, and who also serves as the network’s chief Washington correspondent.
Stephanopoulos had wanted to restructure the GMA hosting role to allow him to work the first hour of the broadcast focused on hard news, pushing into the second hour of the show with the softer, more feature stuff that sets the morning shows apart from the evening newscasts.
ABC’s Good Morning America has been the mainstay for ABC though it solidly ranks No.2 behind NBC’s powerhouse Today. Speaking on the upcoming change on the GMA set, anchor Robin Roberts said, “I have my routine in the morning and when it changes a little bit, I feel off-kilter. I can’t imagine any sweeping changes, but you’re always evaluating what your audience wants.”
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