the great morning tv war

ABC Is a Tad Bitter About GMA’s Josh Elliott Heading to NBC

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 16: Josh Elliott attends the 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards on March 16, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for GLAAD)
Photo: Larry Busacca/2013 Getty Images

NBC won the latest round in the never-ending morning TV war, and ABC is having a hard time pretending they aren’t mad. ABC News president Ben Sherwood sent a memo on Sunday evening announcing that Good Morning America’s Amy Robach, who made headlines last year when she learned she had breast cancer during an on-air mammogram, is being promoted to news anchor. After happily extolling Robach’s virtues for five paragraphs, we get to the real point: Josh Elliott, who served as news anchor for the past three years as GMA finally ended Today’s 16-year run as the top-rated morning show, is heading to NBC Sports.

Sherwood wrote:

At the same time, Josh Elliott let us know today that he is going to NBC Sports.

As many of you know, we have been negotiating with Josh these past several months. 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.

I want to thank Josh for his many contributions to GMA and ABC News. Later in the week, we will bid him farewell.

Elliott, a former ESPN anchor, will be covering a variety of sporting events for NBC, including the Olympics, Sunday Night Football, and Triple Crown horse racing. But while GMA weatherman Sam Champion reportedly left for the Weather Channel (an NBCUniversal property) to be with his meteorologist brethren, it seems Elliott’s departure is mainly about money. According to the New York Times he was making about $1 million a year and asking for as much as $8 million to $10 million. One executive said ABC’s “generous” offer was about $5 million a year.

ABC Bitter About GMA Anchor Heading to NBC