For the better part of its 41-year run, Good Morning America has been one of ABC’s strongest shows, leading in ratings and advertisement dollars.
However, many sources, including Variety, are saying that the morning team’s ratings have been threatened by a morning show on a rival network, NBC’s Today show. So, the network leaders have decided to make the bold move of announcing the addition of Michael Strahan to the Good Morning America line up.
The issue now is apparently in the way they pulled this off which is has upset some producers and executives on the lower end of the ABC network totem pole.
Strahan was added to the Good Morning America line up back in April 2014 as a part-time host, already a constant presence on television since the former defensive end for the Giants retired from football in 2008.
Amid a series of sit-ins on sports shows, hosting, and being in some commercials, he started on Live! by initially replacing Regis Philbin opposite Kelly Ripa temporarily in 2010. He came back in 2012 for the long term when Regis retired.
Variety says that his contract with Live! had recently been renewed to continue until 2020, but now it appears that the decision to switch him over to Good Morning America might have been premature, with the news that Kelly Ripa felt “blindsided” by the news that he was leaving her show.
The Inquisitr recently wrote about how Ripa is so shocked over his departure that she was absent from her show on Wednesday morning, temporarily replaced by SNL star Ana Gasteyer.
Even further, The Daily Mail is one of the sources reporting that she now refuses to return to Live! until Strahan officially leaves.
The report included comments from an aide close to Ripa who points the finger at Disney, saying they apparently planned the move behind her back; more specifically, the aide is pointing to Ben Sherwood.
Sherwood is currently the co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney-ABC Television Group; he was previously the President of ABC News.
The Daily Mail reports of Sherwood’s intentions from another source at ABC.
“This decision was all Ben Sherwood. Ben has always been ambitious and this is his way of trying to save Good Morning America while also positioning himself to be Bob Iger’s successor running all of Disney.”
The article also refers to a similar incident that happened during Regis Philbin’s retirement in 2011, when he told Ripa within 15 minutes before his final show that he would be retiring.
Apparently, she was left shell-shocked during that news as well but was not upset.
As mentioned, producers and executives on the lower end were reportedly caught off guard along with Kelly, as there are reports that Live’s executive producer Michael Gelman did not see the announcement coming either.
Strahan had already been guest hosting on Good Morning America a few times a week since 2014 and a post on ESPN about the move refers to how Strahan has had to travel across New York from the Good Morning America set to do the show with Kelly on the same morning.
Us Magazine reported on the reaction from the Good Morning America staff on the news of their new addition.
“We are thrilled to say that Michael Strahan will be joining us every morning in the fall,” (Robin) Roberts, 55, told viewers on Wednesday. “He’ll be here tomorrow to tell us all about it.”
Hollywood Life is reporting, however, that there’s a chance the move might be a foreshadowing of a cancellation of Live!
Variety’s insider perspective of Live’s low-production costs and that it’s supported simply by the good graces of executives somewhat exposes the vulnerability of such a show against Good Morning America, which could add some credibility to the report by Hollywood Life.
Strahan is due to join Good Morning America in September.