Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos and Michael Strahan will soon have to greet ABC morning viewers from a very different place.
As part of a larger move for The Walt Disney Company, all of the company’s New York properties are scheduled to move in 2025 to a building in downtown New York in a neighborhood known as Hudson Square. This will include some programs already from well-known studios, such as “GMA” and “Live with Kelly and Mark.” The move isn’t scheduled to happen for some time, but staff are already starting to understand how it will impact the show’s standing in TV’s ongoing morning news wars.
“Good Morning America is defined by the strength of our team in front of and behind the camera, the quality of our reporting, and our long, trusted relationship with our viewers,” ABC News said in a statement. “Moving all ABC News teams to our new state-of-the-art building was a strategic decision that will allow for greater collaboration and innovation.” The New York Post reported earlier About “GMA’s” cross-town transportation looming.
For some employees, the move may spur optimism. After all, Disney CEO Bob Iger has indicated that the company is interested in selling ABC. But plans to move “GMA” to Disney’s new suburbs may indicate that the company wants to keep the show or even ABC News as a whole, even if the network’s linear infrastructure is taken over by a different entity.
Times Square helped boost “GMA” in its long-running battle with NBC’s “Today” show for AM viewers. The “Today” show regularly sends its anchors to talk to passersby at NBC’s headquarters in midtown Manhattan. “GMA” gained some of that spirit when it took up residence in Times Square in a studio that allowed some of the city’s residents to look out through giant windows at street level. For a time, “GMA” welcomed the live audience into the studio during the show’s second hour, with those who remained allowed to chat briefly with Roberts and Ginger Z. In 2021, “CBS Mornings” will reside in a studio across the street — meaning that when “GMA” exits, the third-place morning show could gain a new profile downtown.
“Good Morning America” has outperformed “Today” in total viewers for several years, with the NBC show holding the lead in the critical audience category of people ages 25-54. However, under the direction of executive producer Simon Swink, “GMA” was produced as a new hit in the demo, the audience most desired by advertisers in news programming.
Just because Disney is moving downtown doesn’t mean GMA will abandon the rest of New York City. A person familiar with the show says producers will continue to send the hosts to different parts of the Big Apple as well as other cities across the U.S.
“Lifelong beer expert. General travel enthusiast. Social media buff. Zombie maven. Communicator.”