Good Morning America has secured George Stephanopoulos as part of a long-term deal with ABC News that also includes his continued duties as host of the Sunday Beltway show This Week.
“We are thrilled that the team is locked in and that the [Stephanopoulos] deal was done so quickly,” ABC News said this morning. That in marked contrast to the long-running storyline about the division’s talks with GMA regulars Josh Elliott and Sam Champion — both of whom wound up being poached by NBC. Elliott went to NBC Sports and Champion to NBC co-owned The Weather Channel. Lara Spencer, whose contract came up around the same time as Elliott’s and Champion’s, re-signed to GMA in March, and recently was promoted to co-anchor. Elliott and Champion were replaced by Amy Robach and Ginger Zee, respectively.
Stephanopoulos’ contract was not set to expire until the end of the calendar year. But, given the GMA talent churn, the deal was an important one to close for new ABC News chief James Goldston, who is in his second week on the job. Terms of the deal, which sources said locks in Stephanopoulos for more than three years, were not disclosed. “We expect him to remain with us for many, many years,” ABC News said coyly of the anchor, who has been with GMA since 2010. Robin Roberts signed a lucrative deal to remain with GMA last December. Read More »
ABC News has landed a live interview with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been helping NSA leaker Edward Snowden in his flight from U.S. authorities. It’s airing Sunday on This Week. Assange will appear via satellite from the Embassy of Ecuador in London, where he has been living since Sweden asked the UK to extradite him over a rape allegation. Assange, who has blasted mainstream media, has nonetheless turned up on mainstream media programs, including CNN’s AC360 this month.
Jonathan Greenberger is returning to ABC News as executive broadcast producer of This Week With George Stephanopoulos. He replaces Sandy Cannold, who was upped to exec producer/senior business editor at ABC News earlier in the year. Greenberger will report to Robin Sproul, Washington Bureau Chief and executive in charge of This Week. Greenberger, who started at ABC News as an intern in its political unit, last year served as a senior producer on the broadcast when it re-launched with Stephanopoulos’ return in the anchor chair. Greenberger left briefly to finish getting his law degree and recently received his JD from Stanford Law School. ABC News chief Ben Sherwood’s memo to staff: Read More »
The turnover at the helm of ABC News’ This Week With George Stephanopoulos continues. ABC News president Ben Sherwood just announced that Robin Sproul, who recently marked her 20-year anniversary as Washington Bureau Chief, will also serve as Executive in Charge of This Week. Sandy Cannold, who only took over as executive producer of This Week after the November elections, has segued to a new role as Executive Producer and Senior Business Editor of ABC News, overseeing ABC News’ team of business and economics reporters/anchors. “Sandy leaves This Week while it is enjoying the best season-to-date ratings in more than three years,” Sherwood said. Still, This Week largely trails its major competitors, finishing third behind CBS’ Face The Nation and NBC’s Meet The Press in total viewers and tied for second with Face The Nation in 25-54 last Sunday. Cannold succeeded Jon Banner, who did an eight-month stint as executive producer before leaving ABC News in August. In another staffing announcement, DC-based Sara Just will become the Deputy Bureau Chief in Washington, reporting to Sproul.
ABC News has recruited TV veteran Sandy Cannold as the new executive producer of This Week With George Stephanopoulos. The move comes a month after Jon Banner, who has been exec producer of This Week since the end of 2011, left ABC News. Senior executive producer Marc Burstein has been overseeing the weekly program in the interim. Cannold will take over the reins of This Week after the November election — his first show will be on November 11. In the interim, he will work on GMA Weekend. Most recently Cannold served as executive producer of CNBC’s Street Signs and produced CNBC’s presidential primary debate in 2011 – the network’s highest-rated program of the year.
Not very encouraging news for CBS’ rebranded morning show: In its first week, CBS This Morning, hosted by Gayle King, CHarlie Rose and Erica Hill, averaged 2.7 million viewers, 1.1 million of them in the adults 25-54 demographic. It finished well behind NBC’s Today (5.5 million, 2.4 million) and ABC’s Good Morning America (4.9 million, 2.0 million). What’s more, CBS This Morning was down 10% in total viewers and 13% in 25-54 from the same week last year, which marked the second week of the revamped CBS Early Show with Hill, Chris Wragge and Dave Price as hosts. This was the steepest decline among all broadcast morning programs despite This Morning featuring high-profile guests including Michelle Obama. (In several big markets — including Atlanta, Detroit, Tampa and Orlando – This Morning was even beaten by Fox News’ Fox & Friends in total viewers.) Today was down 6% in total viewers and 10% in 25-54, while GMA was actually up, 3% in total viewers and 10% in 25-54. GMA posted its smallest weekly demo margin with Today in more than two years. GMA co-host George Stephanopoulos also is bringing gains to ABC’s This Week in his return as host. In its second outing on January 15, This Week With George Stephanopoulos drew 2.7 million viewers and 780,000 adults 25-54, up 12%/4% from Stephanopoulos’ 2012 debut and posting the program’s largest audience in 10 months.
Former World News executive producer Jon Banner has been named executive producer of This Week effective Jan. 8 when George Stephanopoulos returns as host of the weekly political talk show while continuing his duties as anchor of Good Morning America. Banner stepped down as EP of World News in September when he was named Senior Executive Producer for ABC News, overseeing special projects.
Rick Kaplan, who served as executive producer of This Week with Christiane Amanpour, will focus on election coverage, including shepherding ABC News’ New Hampshire debate on Jan. 7. Kaplan worked on This Week for the past 8 months, returning to ABC News after a four-year run as executive producer of CBS Evening News With Katie Couric. The announcement comes 3 days after Amanpour signed off as anchor of This Week on Sunday. Here is ABC News President Ben Sherwood’s staff email about the change: Read More »