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Is 'Good Morning America' Using Robin Roberts' Illness as a Promotional Opportunity? Chicago Sun-Times, THR, TVNewser

ABC appears to be turning Robin Roberts' illness into a promotional opportunity for "Good Morning America," according to a column in the Chicago Sun-Times by prominent television critic Tom Shales.

"On every edition of 'GMA,' there are shout-outs, warm wishes and detailed reports pertaining to Roberts' condition. She has been seen in remotes from the hospital, and the sympathetic outpourings of viewers have been heavily documented," Shales writes.

"We all wish Robin Roberts well. And we hope she is not being charged with sick days, considering the fact that her illness has practically become another character in the show's cast," he adds.

Since Roberts' departure, the show's ratings have been strong, notes The Hollywood Reporter. "''GMA' has been Number One in the adults 25-54 demo since she began her medical leave on Aug. 31, and has been steadily gaining total viewers," the story points out.

A representative for ABC News said, "To be clear, we are keeping faith with our viewers, who are deeply interested in Robin’s journey. We are also mindful that Robin derives great strength from the overwhelming outpouring of love. That Tom wouldn’t understand is no surprise around here," reports TVNewser.com.