- Pope Francis wins another ‘Person of the Year’ — from gay rights magazine
- Rep. Steve Stockman: Give my campaign $10, and you’ll get an Obama barf bag
- Putin: Russia to buy $15 billion in Ukraine bonds
- Expert: Obamacare ‘death spiral’ fears exaggerated
- Alabama firefighters dig for survivors of apartment blast
- Big Sur wildfire destroys home of firefighting chief
- ‘ ’Twas the Night Before Christmas’ set for mock trial to argue authorship
- Angela Merkel’s third term as Germany’s chancellor to be marked by move to left
- Mega Millions entices with record-setting jackpot: Half a billion so far
- Dennis Rodman heads to North Korea — despite execution, political purge
Colbert to report to ‘GMA’ as guest host
‘Modern Family’ cast also to fill in subfor Robin Roberts
The surging ABC morning show hasn’t missed a beat since Ms. Roberts exited on Aug. 30. The co-host has MDS, a blood and bone-marrow disease, and is out indefinitely for treatment that includes a transplant of marrow donated by her sister, Sally-Ann Roberts. Robin Roberts had to undergo chemotherapy before the procedure, said Tom Cibrowski, the show’s senior executive producer.
Mr. Cibrowski offered more details about the schedule of substitutes for Ms. Roberts, which is expected to include Oprah Winfrey and newswomen Barbara Walters, Katie Couric and Diane Sawyer sometime next month.
Celebrities will be deployed in much the same way as Jessica Simpson was one day last week, appearing on the pop-culture-heavy second hour alongside show regulars George Stephanopoulos, Josh Elliott, Lara Spencer and Amy Robach.
“It shows them in a different light for a little bit, and you get to see them do something different,” Mr. Cibrowski said. “It might be a little funny if they have to read the prompter and there’s some slip-up. It’s all spontaneous.”
While the idea of celebrity guest hosts has been tried before in morning television, ABC’s rivals at the “Today” show most recently showed its potency when Sarah Palin guested one day in spring and got strong ratings.
With their experience in news, Ms. Walters, Ms. Sawyer and Ms. Couric will work for the full two hours when they come on “Good Morning America” for a day. Each has had extensive morning experience: Ms. Walters and Ms. Couric on “Today” and Ms. Sawyer on “GMA” and a CBS morning show.
“Good Morning America” has consolidated its gains in stunningly fast fashion in a morning television world where loyalties are hard to change. “GMA” beat the “Today” show in the weekly ratings for the first time in 17 years this spring. Except for the weeks when “Today” was in London with the Summer Olympics, “GMA” has won most of this summer. Viewers have punished “Today” for the awkward replacement of Ann Curry by Savannah Guthrie early in the summer.
During the weeks starting Aug. 27 and Sept. 3, the ABC show won by more than 800,000 viewers.
“It heartens us,” he said. “It really heartens us to know that the viewers are still with us because they enjoy ‘GMA’ and ‘GMA’ is so strong right now.”
Miss Simpson was brought in as the first celebrity host on Sept. 11, a decision that had the potential for looking tone-deaf on the solemn anniversary of the terrorist attacks. Yet it was “Today” that got in trouble that day, airing an interview with Kris Jenner talking about her breast implants while its rivals paused for a moment of silence to honor attack victims. NBC News President Steve Capus reportedly apologized to affiliates for putting them in a difficult position.
Mr. Cibrowski said there would be no guest hosts just before Election Day, with a concentration on the campaign.
A report by the conservative watchdog Media Research Center illustrated a sharp difference in how the morning news shows covered the Republican and Democratic conventions. During the two weeks when the conventions were held, “CBS This Morning” aired 250 minutes of political coverage and the “Today” show had 152 minutes. “Good Morning America,” which emphasizes lighter fare, spent less than 70 minutes on politics during those weeks, the MRC said.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
By John R. Bolton
The president fiddles at his domestic altar while the world burns
- PRUDEN: The scam that will not die
- BOLTON: Nero in the White House
- Robert E. Lee and 'Stonewall' Jackson tributes face Army War College removal
- Wasted: Tom Coburn's 'Wastebook targets 70 days in bed, Facebook
- Embassy Row: India strikes back over diplomat's arrest
- Zadzooks: The Joker sixth scale figure review (Sideshow Collectibles)
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Colorado revolt: 55 of 62 sheriffs refuse to enforce new gun laws
- Army to cut up to 4,000 captains and majors
- U.S. downplays Saudi prince's criticism of Obama's Middle East policies
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Television commentary, reviews, news and nonstop DVR catch-up by Lisa King Dolloff and friends.
Wall Street news for retail investors who want to know what's going on.
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow