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What’s Behind the Growth at ‘Good Morning America?’

NBC’s “Today” show is experiencing some cold comfort today. The morning program has won the just-finished 2011-2012 season, but is on a path that puts winning next season in peril. ABC’s “Good Morning America” won the third quarter — the first time in 18 years the ABC show has come in first in a three-month period.

In the last year, “GMA” has grown its audience +4% in Total Viewers and +6% in younger viewers, while “Today” lost -6% of its viewership and was down -11% in the coveted A25-54 demo.

“Today” boss Jim Bell tells The New York TimesBill Carter there’s a stark difference between “Today” and “GMA,” that ABC is “doing something else” and that his is a “more serious show.”

Asked if he was suggesting “GMA” was now a tabloid-style program, Mr. Bell said, “That’s what I’m saying.”

To that, ABC News spokeswoman Julie Townsend responds, “I think the audience has spoken loud and clear about its preference in the morning.”

The averages for the 2011-2012 season:

  • Total Viewers: NBC: 5.112M / ABC: 4.870M / CBS: 2.446M
  • A25-54 viewers: NBC: 2.212M / ABC: 1.897M / CBS: 974K

So what do you think? Has “GMA” gone tabloid? And if so does that make you want to tune in or tune out?

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