The churn at Good Morning America is over. ABC News confirmed April 24 that co-host George Stephanopoulos has a new long-term deal which will keep him in his role on the number-one rated morning show and as the moderator of the Sunday roundtable show, This Week.
The deal means Stephanopoulos, Robin Roberts and Lara Spencer, who was recently upped to co-host, have all signed multi-year deals, stabilizing the program's line-up after it lost two of its stars. Sam Champion departed for the Weather Channel while news anchor Josh Elliott recently joined NBC Sports.
"We are thrilled that the team is locked in and that the deal was done so quickly and with such goodwill from all sides," ABC News spokeswoman Heather Riley said.
If NBC, part owner of The Weather Channel, thought it was destabilizing GMA with the hires of Champion and Elliott, it hasn't worked yet. Last week, GMA was number one in the morning ratings with 5.7 million viewers, topping NBC's Today (4.9 million) by 798,000 viewers and winning in the 25-to-54 age group that advertisers seek from news programs. It's the largest lead for GMA since the week of March 3. Elliott, who left after ABC News refused to meet his contract demands, left on March 31.
ABC News did not reveal the terms of Stephanopoulos's new contract. But TV news industry insiders say the deal is for five years and puts his annual salary in the range of $9 million. Stephanopoulos had six months remaining on his current deal, which paid in the range of $6 million annually. There is also no stipulation in the new contract that Stephanopoulos is guaranteed the anchor chair at World News if Diane Sawyer decides to retire. But as one ABC News insider put it: "She's not going anywhere."