“Good Morning America” is reportedly enlisting some of the biggest names in ABC News, plus some former “GMA” stalwarts, to sit in for Robin Roberts when she goes on an extended medical leave later this year.
ABC News brass is apparently intent on maintaining “GMA’s” momentum in its ratings race with top dog “Today” on NBC when the well-liked Roberts departs for treatment for a blood and bone marrow disease known as myelodysplastic syndrome.
Her treatments will include chemotherapy and a bone-marrow transplant, according to TMZ.com, which has a story here on ABC’s plans for coping with Roberts’ absence.
TMZ says Roberts isn’t leaving for “a couple of months,” but when she leaves, she’s expected to be gone for as long as four months.
The site lists the names of those who ABC News management is asking to fill in. And they include current ABC News stars such as Diane Sawyer, Barbara Walters and Chris Cuomo. And get this: Former “GMA” stars Charlie Gibson and Joan Lunden have even been approached, TMZ says. And here’s an intriguing name: Connie Chung.
“GMA” has been threatening for months to take over the lead in morning TV from “Today” — even surpassing the NBC show twice recently. The race has led to turmoil at “Today,” which opted to drop Ann Curry in favor of Savannah Guthrie last week, effectively placing the blame for its ratings woes on Ann.
One ABC News star who’s not on the list of possible subs for Roberts: Katie Couric. Sure, she’ll be busy launching her daily afternoon talk show this September, but it was also rumored that Roberts wasn’t happy when Couric subbed for her recently on “GMA.”