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Posts Tagged ‘Lara Spencer’

As Fusion is Born, a Morning Party for Parents ABC and Univision

Josh Elliott, Robin Roberts, Raul Gonzalez, Karla Martinez and George StephanopoulosWith just hours to go until the official launch of Fusion, ABC News and Univision put their partnership on display this morning, joining top-rated morning shows “Good Morning America” and “Despierta America” for an elaborate crossover event.

Producing two distinct shows, on two networks, in two languages, was “tricky,” as one ABC producer said in the understatement of the morning.

Miami-based Univision sent producers and talent to New York, while several members of the “GMA” team were in Miami. As we watched from the “Good Morning America” control room, producers from both programs scanned each show’s rundown for opportunities to simulcast. Updates were relayed in both English and Spanish to keep staffers in New York and Miami on the same page. On one of the dozens of control room screens, a Univision feed showed Lara Spencer and Sam Champion dancing wildly on the “Despierta America” set in Miami, leading senior executive producer Tom Cibrowski to joke that the pair may never return to New York.

“The show’s been on the air about 18 minutes and I think I’ve lost three pounds,” Champion joked during his first weather report.

On the “GMA” set, Univision’s Karla Martinez and Raul Gonzalez sat with Honey Berry, the “Despierta America” chihuahua named after actress Halle Berry, and, during commercial breaks, chatted with Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos and Josh Elliott. The five anchors were on the go throughout: juggling segments in the ground-floor studio, an outdoor cooking segment, and a performance from Enrique Iglesias upstairs.

This morning’s frenetic pace is just another day at the office for Martinez and Gonzalez.

“I was making fun of George. I saw he was so concentrated, reading and everything (during commercial breaks),” Martinez told TVNewser after the show. “I told him: you guys are so serious. In our studio … we’re so loud!” Read more

THR: ‘GMA’ Facing ‘Nightmare’ Contract Negotiations

GMARobinTeamThe Hollywood Reporter‘s Marisa Guthrie reports three “Good Morning America” anchorsRobin Roberts, Josh Elliott and Lara Spencer — are all currently negotiating new contracts, a scenario that is described as a “nightmare” for ABC News:

Robin Roberts, who has been with the ABC/ESPN family since 1990, has been co-anchor of “GMA” since May, 2005. “There are a lot of things on the table for Robin,” a source told Guthrie.

Elliott joined “GMA” in April, 2011. Spencer followed in May. A year later, “GMA” broke the “Today” show’s 16-year long winning streak on its way to outright No. 1. Guthrie reports:

Sources say representatives for Spencer, 44, and Elliott, 42, in particular have spoken to executives at NBC News.

Spencer and Elliott, who co-hosted the summer spinoff ‘Good Afternoon America’ in 2012, are said to be looking to grow their brands through larger roles at ABC — or elsewhere.

Roberts, Elliott and Spencer, along with Sam Champion and George Stephanopoulos, recently gave “GMA” its first winning season in 19 years. THR reports ABC’s priority is “to keep the GMA team together.”

‘GMA’ and ‘Despierta America’ Will Join Forces on Fusion Launch Day

To mark the launch of Fusion next Monday, ABC’s “Good Morning America” and Univision’s “Despierta America” will combine for a “fused” morning show. Univision’s Karla Martinez and Raul Gonzalez will join the “GMA” team in Times Square, while ABC’s Lara Spencer and Sam Champion will be live from the “Despierta America” set in Miami.

Portions of each broadcast will be simulcast on both networks to a combined audience of over 6 million viewers. Pedro Andrade, Mariana Atencio, and Yannis Pappas, the hosts of “The Morning Show” on Fusion, will also be part of the crossover event.

Fusion Morning Show Hosts Make Debut On ‘Good Morning America’

The hosts of Fusion’s upcoming “The Morning Show” made their TV debut this morning… on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” ABC News is the co-owner of Fusion, alongside Univision.

People in Times Square waved paddles with the Fusion logo, as George Stephanopoulos, Sam Champion and Lara Spencer welcomed the team of Pedro Andrade, Mariana Atencio and Yannis Pappas to the plaza outside the studio.

“Welcome to morning television guys, you are definitely young enough for morning television, that’s for sure,” Stephanopoulos said.

“We are the morning show for 24 year olds,” Atencio said. “We are trying to make a show that is reflective of the very fast pace, BuzzFeed driven, sometimes cynical but very fun world that young people live in.”

WATCH:

Morning Shows Wear Purple in Honor of GLAAD Spirit Day

Morning show anchors wore purple this morning in observance of Spirit Day, GLAAD’s annual anti-bullying campaign. Among the participants: NBC’s Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker and Natalie Morales; ABC’s Sam Champion, Josh Elliott, George Stephanopoulos, Lara Spencer and Elizabeth Vargas; CNBC’s Becky Quick, Andrew Ross Sorkin, Joe Kernan and John Harwood; and CNN’s Michaela Pereira.

“Today” interviewed “Will & Grace” stars Debra Messing and Eric McCormack in honor of the show’s 15th anniversary. Messing and McCormack, both wearing purple ribbons, talked about the show’s social impact. “What I’m most proud of is that the show always treated Will’s desire for the perfect man as equal to Grace’s desire for the perfect man,” McCormack said. Video after the jump. Read more

Jack Hanna Celebrates 30th Anniversary of First ‘GMA’ Appearance

Jack Hanna stopped by “Good Morning America” this morning (with a pair of baby cheetahs in tow) to celebrate the 30th anniversary of his first appearance on ABC (pictures of Hanna’s appearances with Charlie Gibson, Joan Lunden and Diane Sawyer are below).

“You made animals on television in a way that people can understand them, and want to help them and protect them,” Sam Champion told Hanna.

Video is after the jump. Read more

Morning Shows Go Pink to Kick Off Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Today is the first day of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and anchors and correspondents across the morning shows were decked out in pink this morning for the cause. NBC’s Savannah Guthrie, CBS’ Charlie Rose and Nancy Cordes, Fox News’ Ainsley Earhardt and Elisabeth Hasselbeck and ABC’s Robin Roberts, Lara Spencer, George Stephanopoulos, Amy Robach and Jennifer Ashton all participated. On “Good Morning America,” which kicked off a monthlong series of ABC News reports on Breast Cancer Awareness this morning, Robach, 40, got her first mammogram (video is after the jump).

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‘Good Morning America’ Poised to Win First Season in 19 Years

GMAThe last time “Good Morning America” won a full TV season, “Fraiser” and “Picket Fences” were the top TV programs, Andre Agassi was the U.S. Open champion, and just-married Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley shared a kiss at the MTV Awards.

That was Sept. 1994. Charlie Gibson, Joan Lunden and Spencer Christian presided over “Good Morning America” from an Anywhere, USA living room set at ABC’s uptown studio.

These days the ABC breakfast show overlooks raucous Times Square, an outer reflection of the show’s inner energy. Gibson, Lunden, and Christian have been replaced by a cast of five: Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos, Josh Elliott, Sam Champion and Lara Spencer.

They chat and tease each other mercilessly through commercial breaks, so much so that it’s often not clear whether they’re on the air or not. During down moments in between segments, they shuffle through upcoming scripts, respond to tweets and mingle with guests and fans, some of whom are invited in from outside.

The anchors deflect questions about the ratings race by saying something obvious to anyone watching at home, or visiting behind the scenes, as TVNewser did Tuesday morning: we don’t think about that, because we’re just having so much fun. What’s not said is just how much the two go hand-in-hand.

With the final ratings to be released tomorrow, “Good Morning America” is poised to win its first full TV season since 1993-1994 in total viewers and the first since 1992-1993 in the A25-54 demo. And “GMA” continues to enjoy its largest season lead over “Today” in more than 21 years, since before Nielsen’s electronic database started in 1991. Season-to-date, “GMA” leads NBC’s “Today” show by +679,000 total viewers and +86,000 demo viewers. “Today” had a lock on American mornings for more than 16 years.

“We know our competition is strong and bringing it every day,” senior executive producer Tom Cibrowski told TVNewser. “We will never stop playing from behind and every day is a new battle. We know we cannot blink and we welcome the daily fight.”

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Robin Roberts Celebrates Her ‘First Birthday’

On “Good Morning America” this morning, Robin Roberts celebrated her “first birthday,” the one-year anniversary of her life-saving bone marrow transplant.

Roberts cut into a birthday cake (delivered by “Live!”‘s Michael Strahan), flanked by her “GMA” colleagues Josh Elliott, Lara Spencer and George Stephanopoulos. After the show, “GMA” and ABC News staff walked to the upstairs studio for a “Venice”-themes party. Diane Sawyer, ABC News president Ben Sherwood, “GMA” senior EP Tom Cibrowski, senior VPs James Goldston and Barbara Fedida and Roberts’ friends all joined in on the fun.

RobertsBday

As promised, Roberts also unveiled her PSA for “Be The Match. You can watch it after the jump.
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Toasting Tory Johnson for Making the ‘Shift’ and Shedding 72 Pounds

At her book party for “Shift: How I Finally Lost Weight and Discovered a Happier Life,” “Good Morning America” contributor Tory Johnson told the story about what set her on the path, once and for all, to shed unwanted pounds. It was a conversation she had with Barbara Fedida, SVP of talent development and one of her bosses at ABC News.

The advice was so meaningful, that Johnson dedicates the book to Fedida: “For telling me what I needed to hear.”

Fittingly, Fedida hosted the party the East Side home she shares with husband ESPN Radio’s Andrew Brill. Always cheerful in her “Steals & Deals” segments, Johnson says she hasn’t been truly this happy in a long time. In 20 months, she’s lost 72 pounds — equivalent to two dogs, so said her teenage twins Jake and Emma. (The family beagle Marly weighs in at 35 lbs.) And Johnson did it on the sly, without telling her “GMA” family, until it became clear she was on a mission.

Before heading to the US Weekly event where she was honored, “GMA” anchor Robin Roberts toasted Johnson for the dedication she showed. ABC News president Ben Sherwood also raised a glass, praising Johnson for her determination and her penchant for giving really BIG GIFTS, including the two giant stuffed animals she’s given to his kids over the years. Sherwood gave Johnson her “GMA” job when he was EP of the show in the mid-2000′s Johnson’s first job in TV was as an intern at ABC’s “20/20.”

TVNewser also spotted ABC News anchors Lara Spencer, Cynthia McFadden, Amy Robach and Josh Elliot; correspondents Byron Pitts, Deborah Roberts and Gio Benitez; execs Susan Mercandetti, James Goldston, David Sloan, Morgan Hertzen, Jeffrey Schneider, Eric Avram and Sandy Cannold. Former “GMA” EP Jim Murphy, now senior EP of CNN’s “New Day.” Also, David Zincenko, Dr. Richard Besser, Deborah Norville, and Barbara Corcoran, who assisted Sherwood in presenting a gift to Johnson: a box full of zero-calorie pickles — a favorite snack on her journey.

WABC anchors David Navarro, Lee Goldberg Rob Powers and Lori Stokes also attended. We had a nice chat with meteorologist Amy Freeze (her real last name) about the science behind the weather — and also raising four kids in a two-bedroom apartment in New York City. Freeze also told us she has benefited from the “Fedida plan,” as it’s become known in the halls of ABC.

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