Michael Strahan Extends Contract With ABC News, ‘Good Morning America’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Michael Strahan Good Morning America
Courtesy of ABC

Michael Strahan will continue to greet ABC morning viewers as part of a renewed pact that will keep him on “Good Morning America” for the next several years.

Strahan, who was named a “GMA” co-anchor in 2016 and placed alongside Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos, has signed a new four-year deal with ABC News, according to a person familiar with the matter. ABC News declined to make executives available for comment.

He extends his contract at a moment when TV’s a.m. news wars are starting to heat up anew. CBS News has retooled its morning program, enlisting former football player Nate Burleson to anchor “CBS Mornings” with Gayle King and Tony Dokoupil in a new Times Square studio not too far away from the one used by “GMA.” NBC News has been working to make its venerable “Today” available to a wider audience with a new slate of streaming-video programs and podcasts that expand the show beyond its morning hours.

Despite the rivals’ actions, “Good Morning America” continues as the nation’s most-watched morning news program, a position it has maintained for nine consecutive seasons. NBC’s “Today”  dominates in the category of viewer most desired by advertisers, people between the age of 25 and 54, but “GMA” this past season cut its deficit in the category to 86,000 viewers, its closest margin in six seasons.

All three morning programs, however, have been losing viewers overall as more traditional TV users migrate to cable-news programs focused on politics, as well as streaming video and mobile devices that offer new ways to access news and information.

“Good Morning America” is seen as a pillar of the overall business of ABC’s parent, Walt Disney Co. “GMA” captured $293.6 million in advertising in 2020, according to Kantar, a tracker of ad spending. The show provides a massive promotional platform to the company, which relies on it to get word out about many of its movies and initiatives.

Strahan helped usher in a new era at “GMA,” which had long relied on a more extended group of anchors in its first hour. Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, Strahan also was part of a second “GMA” hour that used a live, in-studio audience. And the former New York Giant, who also works as a football analyst for Fox Sports, helped launch an early-afternoon version of “GMA” that is now utilized as a hard-news update for the daytime crowd.

Prior to working at “GMA,” Strahan expanded beyond sports as the co-host of ABC’s syndicated “Live!” opposite Kelly Ripa. He began contributing to “Good Morning America” in 2014, moving full time to the show two years later.

ABC keeps Strahan in place at “GMA” after it recently named a new executive producer to run the show. Simone Swink, a longtime senior producer at the morning program, was elevated to the role of senior producer last month. She replaces Michael Corn, who left abruptly in April, and was recently accused of sexual harassment in a lawsuit. Corn has denied the allegations. Christine Brouwer, another veteran producer at the show, was made executive broadcast producer of the program earlier this month.