Josh Elliott is leaving ABC’s “Good Morning America” for NBC Sports, the second defection from TV’s number-one morning program in recent months. Longtime meteorologist Sam Champion left the program in early December.
In a memo to staffers, ABC News President Ben Sherwood said Amy Robach would succeed Elliott in his role as news anchor. Robach has sparked a significant amount of attention since revealing on the show that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer following a mammogram she got for an October report on the show.
ABC had been in contract talks with both Elliott and fellow news anchor Lara Spencer in recent months. Spencer decided to stay. “As many of you know, we have been negotiating with Josh these past several months.,” Sherwood said in his message to staff. “In good faith, we worked hard to close a significant gap between our generous offer and his expectations. In the end, Josh felt he deserved a different deal and so he chose a new path.”
Robach began her career as a general assignment reporter in South Carolina and moved on to become a morning anchor in Washington D.C. She spent five years at NBC where she was an anchor at MSNBC and co-host of “Weekend Today.” Robach, said Sherwood, “will be a fierce and formidable full-time addition to our GMA team.”
Any change in the show’s on-air team will be of intense interest to those who follow the ongoing morning-show battle between “GMA” and its current second-place rival, NBC’s ‘Today” show. The ABC sunnyside show has spent more than a year as the most-viewed program, but part of its appeal is its on-air team. After Champion left in December for a new role at The Weather Channel, ABC replaced him with Ginger Zee. With Elliott leaving, “Good Morning America” now operates with 40% of its main five-person team having changed over since December.
Co-anchors Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos remain as the leads of the show.