For the second time in the span of four months, ABC’s Good Morning America is weathering a defection in its ranks, as co-anchor Josh Elliott has left the show for a job at NBC Sports.
Effective Monday, March 31, ABC News correspondent Amy Robach will assume Elliott’s GMA post, joining Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos and the rest of the five-person crew.
In a note to ABC News staffers, division president Ben Sherwood said that Elliott simply wanted more money than the network was willing to fork over. “As many of you know, we have been negotiating with Josh these past several months,” Sherwood wrote. “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.”
(Sherwood last week was named co-chairman of Disney Media Networks and president, Disney/ABC Television Group, replacing Anne Sweeney.)
While ABC did not disclose the offer it made to Elliott, insiders said that the 42-year-old believed that he was worth twice as much as what ABC offered—or as much as $10 million per year.
Elliott’s departure comes on the heels of lifestyle anchor Lara Spencer’s re-upping with GMA last Thursday in a multiyear deal. In December, veteran GMA weatherman Sam Champion left the show for a job at NBCUniversal’s Weather Channel.
Champion was replaced by Ginger Zee.
Roberts in December signed a long-term deal with ABC that is believed to be worth as much as $14 million per year. With Robach, Roberts and Spencer locked in, Stephanopoulos remains the lone anchor whose future at the network has not been mapped out. (His contract expires at the end of the year.)
Robach has become a familiar face for GMA viewers, filling in for Roberts for a good deal of her five-month hiatus from the show. (Diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome, Roberts spent the period spanning October 2012 to February 2013 recovering from a bone marrow transplant.)
In November, Robach revealed on-air that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer. She returned to the show the following month after having undergone a bilateral mastectomy and reconstructive surgery.
Sherwood told staffers that Robach “will be a fierce and formidable full-time addition to our GMA team.” He added that the show’s “best days are ahead. Just this month the broadcast enjoyed its biggest audience ever. In the days ahead, there will be more good news on the show, so stay tuned.”
While details of Elliott’s NBC Sports gig were unavailable at press time, a standard noncompete clause in his contract could keep him off the air until early October. An official announcement from NBC is expected to arrive on Monday.
Season to date, GMA is delivering its biggest overall audience in more than 22 years and is putting up its strongest numbers in the target adults 25-54 since 2005-06.