Josh Elliott is joining NBC, not to be the next Matt Lauer, he says, but because he “grew up with a love of sports that is unrivaled.” Elliott was introduced as the newest NBC Sports talent by division chairman Mark Lazarus during a conference call with reporters this afternoon.
“No news role has been discussed with me,” Elliott says, adding, “I hope Matt Lauer is here when I step away from this gig, 30 years down the road. I love being a part of a team and the team I’m on now is a fantastic one.”
Elliott joins NBC Sports after three years at ABC News, as a co-host of “Good Morning America.” He doesn’t know if he’ll be back on “GMA” for a final farewell. “Those sorts of decisions aren’t mine to make,” he says.
“I was really happy to see my teammates wish me so well on Monday morning,” Elliott added. He says he remains “eternally thankful for all the people who helped me along the way. None more so than Ben Sherwood.” Sherwood, still new to his job as president of ABC News, plucked Elliott from ESPN in 2011. A year later, the longtime No. 2 morning show had toppled the “Today” show’s 16-year reign at No. 1.
“Everything I have today I owe to Ben,” Elliott says. “[ABC] put a generous offer on the table. They made this for me, simply, a qualitative choice.”
Not only will his commute get easier, NBC Sports is “a couple exits down I95″ in Stamford, CT, but Elliott will now get to fulfill a childhood dream: “A profound and essential part of my being has always been to be a part of an Olympics broadcast.” That wish will be fulfilled in two years in Rio. His first NBC Sports assignment is the Kentucky Derby next month.
Elliott says his only discussion about working with NBC News has been “ways to provide sports content to them.” Lazarus jumped in, adding, “that’s something I would discuss with NBC News, down the line.”
“I feel like the luckiest man in TV today, because of what has been a wondrous near-decade at Disney and a glorious 3 years at ABC News and ‘GMA,’” said Elliott.