(l-r) ABC News SVP James Goldston, Josh Elliott, Robin Roberts, ABC News president Ben Sherwood, George Stephanopoulos, Sam Champion, Lara Spencer, GMA EP Tom Cibrowski
More than 200 ABC News staffers packed the 5th floor newsroom this morning for a toast and celebration of “Good Morning America” breaking the “Today” show’s winning streak that lasted 16 years and 16 weeks.
ABC News president Ben Sherwood, who was executive producer of the show when it came within striking distance in 2005, gave two toasts: first to his colleagues at NBC, acknowledging the streak, and a second to his team and all those who came before, including former longtime executives David Westin, Jim Murphy, Phyllis McGrady and Shelley Ross, who was EP of the show for more than five years, beginning in 1999.
One longtime ABCNewser emailed, “The energy in the building is electric.” Sherwood, who first joined ABC News in 1989 talked about how before the streak, “We’d win a week, they’d win a week, then we’d win.” The back-and-forth ended on Dec. 11, 1995 when “Today” began its until-now unbroken 852-week winning streak. Sherwood himself jumped to NBC News in 1997 working on “Nightly News” before returning to ABC to oversee “GMA” in 2004. Sherwood talked about how many of the the show’s current staffers were in junior high or high school in 1995. News anchor Josh Elliott had just graduated from college.
Diane Sawyer and Chris Cuomo, former anchors on the show were in attendance while the current team of Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos, Sam Champion, Lara Spencer and Elliott said a few words.
James Goldston who oversees the show as SVP, as well as Senior EP Tom Cibrowski also spoke. There was a lot of hugging, an insider tells us.
More pictures after the jump…