Breaking: Changes are afoot at ABC’s “Good Morning America,” as Juju Chang will soon leave the program to join “Nightline” as a correspondent and fill-in anchor, while ESPN “SportsCenter” anchor Josh Elliott joins the morning show as its newsreader.
The changes are the first major moves since James Goldston took over as senior EP of “GMA” in February.
“In her new position, Juju will play a leading part in a number of the 13 primetime hours that Nightline will produce this summer,” wrote ABC News president Ben Sherwood in an email to staff. “She will also make major contributions to 20/20, World News and GMA – as she has throughout her 23 year career at ABC News.”
The news was first reported by the NY Post.
Elliott will join fellow ESPN alum Robin Roberts on the morning show, along with ESPN reporter Erin Andrews, who contributes regular pieces to the program. Both ESPN and ABC are owned by the Walt Disney Company.
Elliott’s star has risen at ESPN over the last few years, and a source at ESPN says that the anchor has been eying a role at ABC News for some time.
Talks between Elliott and ABC were well underway before Goldston assumed his new position. Initial discussions were focused on “GMA”‘s weekend edition, but those talks evolved into the current–and more prominent–role.
ESPN was not keen on losing Elliott, and negotiations between the anchor, ABC and ESPN are said to have drawn out the process.
At ESPN Elliot has been co-anchoring the morning edition of “SportsCenter” alongside former CBS “Early Show” anchor Hannah Storm.
Sherwood addressed Chang’s new role in an email to staff:
I’m writing to share some news about Juju Chang, one of our most talented and versatile colleagues.
Going forward, I’ve asked Juju to take a full-time role as a special correspondent and fill-in anchor at Nightline where she will contribute even more of the in-depth and insightful journalism that has always been her hallmark.
In her new position, Juju will play a leading part in a number of the 13 primetime hours that Nightline will produce this summer. She will also make major contributions to 20/20, World News and GMA – as she has throughout her 23 year career at ABC News. This move will be effective in the coming weeks.
Over the past 15 months as the news reader of Good Morning America, Juju has traveled to South Korea for an interview with President Lee Myung-bak, reported live from Haiti in the aftermath of the earthquake and, most important, as far as her sons are concerned, played baseball with A-Rod as part of GMA’s “Living the Dream” Series.
In the coming days, I will share news about the next news reader at GMA.
In the meantime, please join me in thanking Juju for her leadership at GMA and congratulating her on her special role with the #1 program in late night.
Wednesday AM Update: This morning Sherwood formally announced Elliot’s hiring:
I am pleased to announce that Josh Elliott will join ABC News in the coming weeks as Good Morning America’s news reader.
Many of you know Josh’s excellent work at ESPN where he co-anchors SportsCenter for three hours every weekday morning from nine to noon eastern.
After graduating from the University of California-Santa Barbara and earning a master’s degree at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, Josh landed his first dream job at Sports Illustrated. For six years he distinguished himself at SI covering major events across the world, reporting on the NFL and interviewing athletes including Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Henry Aaron and Pele.
In 2004, Josh joined ESPN as a panelist on various shows, working as a guest-host on Cold Pizza and contributing regularly to ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com. In 2008, he was named co-anchor of SportsCenter with Hannah Storm when that storied show went live in the morning.
Josh’s curiosity and travels are far-reaching and his journalism has taken him around the world. While on assignment in the United Arab Emirates, for instance, he reported on the outbreak of the 2003 US invasion of Iraq.
In addition to his impressive professional background, Josh is a swimmer and water polo player, avid Dodgers and Lakers fan and, most important he would say, a father to his young daughter.
A talented writer, storyteller and live broadcaster, Josh will be a great addition to our team at GMA.
Please join me in welcoming Josh to ABC News.