Breaking: Josh Elliott is leaving “Good Morning America” and joining NBC Sports. Elliott’s jump to NBC and a return to sports, comes at the end of intense contract negotiations with ABC News. Elliott will work on most high-profile NBC Sports programs including “Sunday Night Football,” NBC Olympics and Triple Crown horse racing. NBC is expected to reveal more later this week.
Elliott joined ABC from ESPN three years ago this month. A year after he joined the ABC morning show, “GMA” topped NBC’s “Today” for the first time in 16 years. “GMA” has been the most-watched morning show since.
Elliott’s departure for NBC comes three months after his colleague Sam Champion left “GMA” for the Weather Channel, which is co-owned and has a broadcast partnership with NBC. Champion has already made appearances on “Today.”
In a note to his staff, Disney/ABC co-president Ben Sherwood writes, “In good faith, we worked hard to close a significant gap between our generous offer and his expectations. In the end, Josh felt he deserved a different deal and so he chose a new path.” Sources tells TVNewser, Elliott was seeking up to $10 million from ABC. The network offered $5 million. Elliott emailed Sherwood around 6pm tonight to tell him he was taking the NBC Sports job.
This is the second high-profile ABC-to-NBC move in less than a week. On Thursday, Cynthia McFadden, who spent 20 years at ABC announced she was joining NBC News’s investigative unit. She signed off “Nightline” Friday night. Elliott will get a “GMA” send-off later this week.
Late last week, ABC News re-signed co-host Lara Spencer to the show. A few days earlier Disney promoted Sherwood from ABC News president to co-president of the Disney/ABC TV group.