What Are ABC Affiliates Saying About GMA Shakeup?

By Chris Ariens 

Broadcasting & Cable’s Marisa Guthrie takes the pulse of ABC affiliates as they gird for the anchor change at ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

Wayne Godsey, president and GM at Kansas City’s KMBC says, “The transition of anchors would be of far less concern to me than whether those anchors are the right people for the job,” adding, “I have an incredible amount of confidence in David Westin. Look at what they’ve gone through, with Peter Jennings and the terrible accident in Iraq that injured [Bob Woodruff], and then the move to Charlie with Diane and the rest of the crew carrying the load in the morning. Through it all, the news division has performed very well.”

Patti C. Smith, president and GM of Austin’s KVUE says GMA could take a lesson from competitor the Today show. “They found the right person, an impeccable journalist and a terrific morning host [in Vieira],” she says. “If NBC can do it, then so can we.”

“More [important] than timing is getting the people right,” says Stewart Kellogg, president and GM of WAPT, in Jackson, Miss. GMA co-anchor Robin Roberts hails from Pass Christian, Miss., and is extremely popular with WAPT’s viewers, Kellogg says.

When it comes to the timing, though not confirmed, Guthrie reports, “A succession announcement could come later this month” with Sawyer’s last day at GMA “believed to be Dec. 11.”