ABC News finally announced what has been widely reported: George Stephanopoulos is the new co-anchor of Good Morning America, effective Dec. 14.
“I’m pleased to announce that beginning Monday Dec. 14, our new anchor team at Good Morning America will be in place and on the air,” ABC News President David Westin wrote in an e-mail to staffers Dec. 10.
The announcement also included the addition of Juju Chang as GMA news reader replacing Chris Cuomo, who has been named 20/20 co-anchor with Elizabeth Vargas. Cuomo has also been named chief law and justice correspondent. Cuomo’s brother is New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. Their father, Mario Cuomo, is a former governor of New York.
“In putting this new GMA team together, we’ve pursued one goal,” wrote Westin. “How can we best serve our audience? How can we bring them what matters most to them -- the day’s important news, engaging stories, useful information and real expertise to help them improve their lives?”
“I can’t wait to join Good Morning America's' amazing team, and serve its loyal viewers," Stephanopoulos said in a statement. "No one can replace Diane Sawyer, but I'll do everything I can to match her unquenchable curiosity and intense commitment to informing the country every morning. What an adventure."
The announcement also confirmed that Diane Sawyer will assume anchor duties at World News Dec. 21.
Westin added that Roberts and Stephanopoulos “are the right pair to lead our effort.
“Robin brings a warmth and intelligence to the morning that no one can match. Hers is a practical curiosity that brings the viewers’ questions to the fore. George complements Robin’s strengths with a deep knowledge of and commitment to news about the nation and the world.”
“I am so excited to welcome George and Juju to our family,” Roberts said in a statement. “The energy and talent of those on camera and behind the scenes at this program are second to none. I have no doubt that George and Juju will immediately feel right at home. Saying goodbye to Diane has not been easy, but I'm glad she will finally be getting more sleep.”
The announcement also said that Stephanopoulos will go from being “chief Washington correspondent” to “chief political correspondent”; the title change simply reflects his move to New York. He’ll also continue to fill in on World News and anchor his Sunday program This Week until a replacement is named. Nightline co-anchor Terry Moran and chief White House correspondent Jake Tapper are in the running to replace Stephanopoulos on This Week. According to reports, ABC News executives are also looking at PBS’ Gwen Ifill, who is an occasional guest on the This Week roundtable.
CBS News had made their own morning show announcement, confirming reports that David Friedman has been named the new executive producer of the Early Show, replacing Zev Shalev, who left to pursue an internet venture.
David Freidman is the son of CBS News executive VP Paul Friedman. He comes to CBS News from NBC, where he was most recently the executive producer of Last Call with Carson Daly. He’s also produced various specials for NBC, including the annual New Year’s Eve special and the 2009 Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular. Prior to that, he worked on NBC News’ Today, joining the show as a researcher and rising through the ranks to producer.
“David's wide-ranging talents and experience in news, entertainment and primetime specials will be enormous assets to the broadcast and to CBS News," Sean McManus, president CBS News and CBS Sports, said in a statement. "The Early Show has a great on-air team in place, the show has been making advances and we are committed to decisively moving to the next level.”
In his statement, McManus alluded to the anchor shakeup at Good Morning America, which finished November 1.3 million viewers behind top-rated Today.
“The change in the competitive landscape is a terrific opportunity for us to bring on an experienced and creative EP with a fresh approach and a demonstrated track record of success,” he said.