At her book party for “Shift: How I Finally Lost Weight and Discovered a Happier Life,” “Good Morning America” contributor Tory Johnson told the story about what set her on the path, once and for all, to shed unwanted pounds. It was a conversation she had with Barbara Fedida, SVP of talent development and one of her bosses at ABC News.
The advice was so meaningful, that Johnson dedicates the book to Fedida: “For telling me what I needed to hear.”
Fittingly, Fedida hosted the party the East Side home she shares with husband ESPN Radio’s Andrew Brill. Always cheerful in her “Steals & Deals” segments, Johnson says she hasn’t been truly this happy in a long time. In 20 months, she’s lost 72 pounds — equivalent to two dogs, so said her teenage twins Jake and Emma. (The family beagle Marly weighs in at 35 lbs.) And Johnson did it on the sly, without telling her “GMA” family, until it became clear she was on a mission.
Before heading to the US Weekly event where she was honored, “GMA” anchor Robin Roberts toasted Johnson for the dedication she showed. ABC News president Ben Sherwood also raised a glass, praising Johnson for her determination and her penchant for giving really BIG GIFTS, including the two giant stuffed animals she’s given to his kids over the years. Sherwood gave Johnson her “GMA” job when he was EP of the show in the mid-2000’s Johnson’s first job in TV was as an intern at ABC’s “20/20.”
TVNewser also spotted ABC News anchors Lara Spencer, Cynthia McFadden, Amy Robach and Josh Elliot; correspondents Byron Pitts, Deborah Roberts and Gio Benitez; execs Susan Mercandetti, James Goldston, David Sloan, Morgan Hertzen, Jeffrey Schneider, Eric Avram and Sandy Cannold. Former “GMA” EP Jim Murphy, now senior EP of CNN’s “New Day.” Also, David Zincenko, Dr. Richard Besser, Deborah Norville, and Barbara Corcoran, who assisted Sherwood in presenting a gift to Johnson: a box full of zero-calorie pickles — a favorite snack on her journey.
WABC anchors David Navarro, Lee Goldberg Rob Powers and Lori Stokes also attended. We had a nice chat with meteorologist Amy Freeze (her real last name) about the science behind the weather — and also raising four kids in a two-bedroom apartment in New York City. Freeze also told us she has benefited from the “Fedida plan,” as it’s become known in the halls of ABC.