Using A Familiar Model, ‘GMA’ Narrows Ratings Gap With ‘Today’

By Merrill Knox 

Today’s Wall Street Journal examines the narrowing ratings gap between NBC’s “Today” and ABC’s “Good Morning America,” declaring that morning television is “back in play.” The article notes that the ratings growth at second-place “GMA” comes as senior executive producer James Goldston has made a number of familiar tweaks to the program:

Earlier, GMA also began copying a number of signature “Today” segments, such as summer concert series. And last month, Mr. Goldston and the network moved GMA to a new set on the first floor of ABC’s Times Square studio so that anchors could more easily venture outdoors.

“Little by little, ‘Good Morning America’ has come to replicate what has always been the ‘Today’ show’s secret sauce—the ensemble,” says Victor Neufeld, a former executive producer of CBS’s “Early Show” and ABC’s “20/20.” “The chemistry is working,” he says, and GMA has become a “Today” alternative, “like Coke and Pepsi.”


In an interview, Mr. Goldston dismisses the idea that GMA is copying “Today.” “We are in the process of modernizing morning television, and we are excited about how it is going so far,” he says. “You don’t often see those kinds of gains.”