Morning Show Executives Reveal Tricks in War Over ‘Gets’ — One Producer Says ‘Good Morning America’ ‘Basically Kidnapped’ Ted Williams From Rival Program

Sep 16, 2011  •  Post A Comment

Morning show executives talk about the ultra-competitive battle to secure "gets" — interviews with top newsmakers — in a report by The Washington Post, with one "Good Morning America" senior editorial producer saying the ABC show "basically kidnapped" Ted Williams, the homeless man with a voice of gold, from NBC’s "Today."

According to the story, Williams, a homeless man with a beautiful voice who captured Americans’ interest earlier this year, was locked in for an exclusive interview on "Today" in January. But when he stepped outside of NBC’s studios for a smoke, a booker from "GMA" hustled him into a waiting car, the piece says. “We basically kidnapped him,” Santina Leuci, “GMA’s” senior editorial producer, said in a recent interview, according to the story.

Nevertheless, charm and sensitivity help in securing interviews, the story says. After Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot in January, CBS producer Sarah Boxer left cupcakes on the doorsteps of the victims’ families along with a personal note. Bookers sometimes send flowers, chocolates or wine, while anyone who signs on for a trip to one of the shows gets one or two nights in a Manhattan hotel and a per-diem allowance for meals, the story says.

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