- Associated Press - Monday, September 20, 2010

NEW YORK (AP) - Not content to simply offer viewers news and a little entertainment, “Good Morning America” now wants to dispense some advice.

ABC’s morning show said Monday it is starting a nationwide search for a “21st-century advice guru” who can offer perspective on vexing family or professional problems.

The new advice expert, who would dispense answers on the air and through the show’s website, is akin to a “Dear Abby” for TV, said Jim Murphy, executive producer of “GMA.” The show is accepting applications and will turn its search into part of the show, he said.

Senior staff will sift through the applications and come up with some finalists for tryouts. Viewers will be invited to let ABC know of their favorites as the process continues, he said.

He’s not sure who will be interested in the full-time job, whether there are people with television experience or ambitious newcomers or some combination of both.

“It would be just awesome if some fabulous high-school guidance counselor gets a break like this,” Murphy said.

He said the job would fill a niche at network morning shows and also help “Good Morning America” establish its online presence, where the advice guru would write a regular column taking questions from viewers.

In a promo, ABC promises that “this isn’t just some contest. This is a real job search.”

Applicants will be asked to write a 300-word essay on what makes them right for the job and answer a series of advice questions that will be posted on the show’s website.

Murphy said he hopes to have the new person on board for the beginning of next year.

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ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co.

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Online:

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/