NY Post: George Stephanopoulos Frustrated Over Tabloid Obsession at GMA

According to the New York Post, Good Morning America co-anchor George Stephanopoulos is unhappy with his show's tabloid obsession. Stephanie Smith of Page Six on Monday wrote that Stephanopoulos "is concerned about the softer direction of 'GMA' — and the addition of yet more entertainment personalities." 

Smith added, "insiders told us Stephanopoulos has already made clear that he wants to do more serious news programming and take over for Diane Sawyer on 'World News' when she eventually steps down." If the former Democratic operative turned journalist is frustrated with the changes at GMA, he's been more than willing to go along with the increasingly superficial tone of the program. On Monday, he got on stage to dance along with singer Pharrell. 

On May 9, 2013, GMA devoted 19 minutes to the tabloid verdict in the Jodi Arias murder trial and a kidnapping in Ohio. A scant 53 seconds were allowed for whistleblower testimony related to the Benghazi terrorist attack. 

According to a 2013 Media Research Center study, in three days, ABC committed more than twice as much airtime (62 minutes) to the royal baby than it had to the IRS scandal since May 11, 2013 (just under 24 minutes). 

The New York Post's Smith wrote: 

“GMA” co-anchor George Stephanopoulos is frustrated with “GMA” staff changes as he begins to negotiate his contract with ABC, sources tell Page Six.

Multiple sources told us Stephanopoulos, 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.

...

Insiders told us Stephanopoulos has already made clear that he wants to do more serious news programming and take over for Diane Sawyer on “World News” when she eventually steps down.

On November 14, 2011, co-host Robin Roberts made a similar declaration, complaining: "I’ll be honest, it’s been an adjustment for me, the lighter fare...I want to be No. 1. I don’t want to sell my soul to the devil to be No. 1."

Yet, the fluff on GMA has continued for almost two and a half years since that statement. How serious is Stephanopoulos? 

UPDATE.

The Post's Smith included this denial in her story:  

But Stephanopoulos told us last night, “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 rep added, “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.”

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org