ABC’s Roberts Gets Primetime Spotlight

By Andrew Gauthier 

Associated Press

Robin Roberts is comfortable in the knowledge that when ABC’s “Good Morning America” makeover is complete, she will keep her seat at the anchor desk. She just doesn’t know who will be sitting next to her.

As she waits, ABC is showing her some love. Roberts is the centerpiece for two prime-time specials this month: a Tuesday night hour featuring country music stars and an interview with Janet Jackson that will air on Nov. 18. The Jackson interview is the type of important “get” for which Diane Sawyer and Barbara Walters used to compete.

The specials could be read as both internal and external signs of Roberts’ importance to the news division. She’s worked at ABC News or cable sister ESPN since 1990 and her contract expires in the spring.

ABC News President David Westin expects to choose Diane Sawyer’s replacement as “GMA” anchor in December, spokesman Jeffrey Schneider said. Sawyer is taking over for Charles Gibson at “World News” at the end of the year.

Like most people at ABC, Roberts is keeping mum about the search (“I haven’t seen a list yet”) and certainly won’t express a favorite. More…