‘GMA’s’ Murphy Pauses to Relish an Emmy Win

Jun 22, 2008  •  Post A Comment

ABC’s “Good Morning America” may run second to NBC’s “Today” in the ratings but the ABC morning show is two for two in the first two years of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Daytime Emmy recognition of morning shows, a category that does not exist in NATAS’ News and Documentary competition. TelevisionWeek National Editor Michele Greppi spoke with “GMA” executive producer Jim Murphy last week about what the June 13 Emmy win does—and doesn’t—mean when one works in the round-the-clock pressure cooker of morning news shows.
TelevisionWeek: You’ve won back-to-back Emmys for best morning show. Where is the Emmy “Good Morning America” won last week going to reside?
Jim Murphy: I don’t know. I have eight now. There are four in my office and two at home. I haven’t really thought about that. I’m sure my kids [Liam and Tea] would really like to have one in their rooms.
TVWeek: What was your best line in your acceptance speech?
Mr. Murphy: I wasn’t there. My kids had a piano recital that night. Bridgette Maney, our press person, went.
TVWeek: Did she give a speech?
Mr. Murphy: I’m sure she did, but I haven’t seen it. I went to work at 4 o’clock Monday morning and Tuesday morning and then got on a plane to L.A. Tuesday and I haven’t had a chance to even go back over the Emmy win.
TVWeek: For how long does life feel infinitely better when you’ve won an Emmy? Is it like coming back from the world’s best vacation and the positive effects being worn off by the end of the first day back at work?
Mr. Murphy: I’d say 10 to 15 minutes.
TVWeek: How good does it feel for 10 to 15 minutes?
Mr. Murphy: It feels very good. It was really completely unexpected. I knew we’d entered a good program, but I sort of figured that since we’d won last year, it couldn’t happen again. It was really nice that we did. It felt very good for a little while, but it’s a lot more important to win the numbers game. I’m much more focused on that than on winning awards.
TVWeek: If there were money attached to the Emmy, how would you spend it?
Mr. Murphy: There would be a big party for the staff that works night and day to make that program happen. Then there would be even more travel.
TVWeek: Speaking of travel, does Sam Champion take his own waist waders, chest waders with him? Does he have his own?
Mr. Murphy: At this point, after so many stories in rivers and polar ice caps and floods and hurricanes, I assume that at this point Sam owns more than one pair. If he has time to pack, which he often doesn’t, I guess the waders come out of the closet. When we send him directly from the office for a breaking news story, he’s got to get a new pair.
TVWeek: Seriously, does the Emmy give you any additional “currency” within ABC News to apply to pushing for and achieving bigger plans for “GMA”?
Mr. Murphy: ABC News doesn’t need any more motivation to support “GMA” and try to make it its best and win. We are talking about all kinds of plans that are fairly costly for the program. They are always there for us, because they know that we matter so much to the division and to the company. They all like being part of a great program too.


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