Good Morning America

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Veteran journalists  and , who have hosted the show since the late .
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Veteran journalists Charles Gibson and Diane Sawyer, who have hosted the show since the late 1990s.

Good Morning America (also popularly known as GMA), launched in 1975, is the weekday morning news talk show of the American Broadcasting Company, or ABC television network. Featuring news, weather and special interest stories, it is recorded live from its Times Square studios in New York City and fed to all network affiliates. The program is currently hosted by Charles Gibson, Diane Sawyer, and Robin Roberts. Tony Perkins is the show's weatherman.

Since 2004, ABC has also aired Good Morning America Weekend Edition.

Contents

Early years

A.M. America was launched in 1975 to compete with the National Broadcasting Company, or NBC television network, production of The Today Show hosted by Jim Hartz and Barbara Walters. While The Today Show was broadcast from a news room set, A.M. America was broadcast from what looked on the television screen as a traditional suburban American family living room. The living room set was designed by marketing executives at ABC, believing that viewers would respond better to a more personal ambience. A.M. America's first host was David Hartman, featuring Nancy Dussault as his co-host. Dussault was replaced in 1977 by Sandy Hill.

The Today Show shakeup

Good Morning America ratings climbed slowly but steadily throughout the 1970s and into the 1980s while The Today Show experienced a slight slump in viewership, especially with Walters' decision to leave NBC for a job at ABC. On August 29, 1976, Tom Brokaw began achoring The Today Show while a search was made for a female co-host. Within a year, The Today Show managed to beat back the Good Morning America ratings threat with Brokaw and new co-host Jane Pauley, featuring Gene Shalit.

ABC ratings rise

Good Morning America continued to threaten The Today Show, especially after the abrupt removal of Brokaw from his anchor desk in 1981. For the first time, Good Morning America became the highest rated morning news program in the United States as The Today Show fell to second place.

Lunden and Gibson

In 1980, Hill left Good Morning America and was replaced by Joan Lunden. Hartman and Lunden led the show through several seasons of success. The partnership ended in February of 1987 as Hartman retired.

Lunden was paired with Charles Gibson and ratings skyrocketed for Good Morning America. They became the most popular news partnership on television in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Gibson and Lunden prevailed over The Today Show.

CBS threat

In the 1970s and 1980s, the CBS television network, aired only hard news stories during the morning time slot shared by Good Morning America and The Today Show. But CBS decided it wanted to get aggressive in the morning news talk show ratings battle, and it launched CBS Morning, using the same format used on Good Morning America and The Today Show. It was hosted by Charles Kuralt and Diane Sawyer. In 1983, CBS Morning beat The Today Show and took the second place spot after Good Morning America.

Still wanting to knock Good Morning America from its stronghold over viewers, CBS scrapped CBS Morning and launched The Morning Program on January 12, 1987. It was hosted by Mariette Hartley, Rolland Smith, Mark McEwen and special features by comedian Bob Saget. The show failed miserably against Good Morning America and was cancelled only after ten months on the air. CBS replaced the show with CBS This Morning in November of 1987, hosted by Kathleen Sullivan and Harry Smith with Greg Gumbel featuring sports. Again, CBS failed miserably against Good Morning America.

NBC comeback

Good Morning America sailed into the 1990s with its overwhelming ratings success. Lunden and Gibson were a hard couple to beat. But Good Morning America would stumble from its top spot when Lunden was abruptly replaced by Lisa McRee in 1997. The show was almost killed when Gibson, too, left the show to make way for Kevin Newman in 1998.

With McRee and Newman at the helms of Good Morning America, long time viewers switched to The Today Show. By this time, The Today Show was hosted by Matt Lauer and Katie Couric. News and weather were anchored by Ann Curry and Al Roker. The Today Show ratings skyrocketed and remained at the top spot into the mid 2000s.

Gibson and Sawyer

In 1999, ABC became desperate to revive Good Morning America which viewers disfavored. It negotiated Gibson's return, teaming him up with Diane Sawyer. The team was meant to be temporary until ABC could find permanent replacements. However, Good Morning America ratings once again increased and battled The Today Show for viewership, though it has notyet proclaimed a victory in weekly viewership over The Today Show. ABC stuck with the Gibson and Sawyer team where they remain today as anchors of Good Morning America. Until March 18, 2002, the news was anchored by Antonio Mora. When he left to anchor WBBM-TV in Chicago, Illinois, Robin Roberts replaced Mora.

Gibson, Sawyer, and Roberts

In May 2005, ABC announced former ESPN anchor Robin Roberts, the show's news anchor was promoted to co-ancor. She had been regularly filling in for Diane Sawyer. In her new role, she now helps take stress off Charlie Gibson who has been filling in for World News Tonight anchor Peter Jennings.

As of 2005, Good Morning America has still not prevailed over the The Today Show, though it has had a few one-show victories on the day after Pope John Paul II's funeral, and then a Mariah Carey concert shortly after. Only time will tell who will come out on top...

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