One of the regulars on ABC's segment-leading morning show "Good Morning America" is reportedly frustrated about recent staff changes on the show. The New York Post’s Page Six reports that George Stephanopoulos, a co-anchor of “GMA," has apparently let his feelings be known — just as he starts to negotiate his contract with ABC.
“Multiple sources told us George, the last man standing at the morning show after Sam Champion and Josh Elliott departed in recent weeks, is concerned about the softer direction of ‘GMA’ — and the addition of yet more entertainment personalities,” the story reports.
Stephanopoulos is said to be in early negotiations with ABC. He currently earns about $8 million annually, less than the $14 million earned by co-anchor Robin Roberts. Josh Elliott recently left the show for NBC, after he sought $10 million from ABC but failed to secure it.
Other recent departures include Cynthia McFadden, Bill Weir and Sam Champion, the piece notes. Meanwhile, ABC is reportedly working on bringing aboard Michael Strahan from "Live with Kelly and Michael," as we reported last week.
Stephanopoulos, for his part, is said to want to take on more serious news programming and to take the reins from Diane Sawyer when she steps down from “World News,” although David Muir is considered to be next in line for that role, the story notes.
Stephanopoulos is downplaying the rumors, telling the publication, “So much of what you’ve been told is false. What I can say is that I’m proud of our continued success at ‘GMA,’ ‘This Week’ and ABC News, and I’m confident that will continue.”
An ABC representative said, “George and all of ABC News are all thrilled by the success of his two No. 1 shows, ‘GMA’ and ‘This Week,’ and we’re confident that success and our partnership will continue.”
The report quotes one insider saying: “They can’t afford to lose George. He’s going to get a serious pay increase. He could easily up his salary to $12 million a year or more.”