THR's 35 Most Powerful People in Media
In December 2009, Stephanopoulos, former White House senior adviser during the Clinton administration and ABC news political correspondent, joined GMA to help boost ratings and challenge NBC’s reigning Today powerhouse.
“With the team in place, we’re gaining ground every week,” says the 51-year old father of two. Stephanopoulos’ sharp intelligence and easy wit have helped energize GMA, and turned it into a legitimate morning contender. “It’s nice to be in the hunt,” says the anchor, whose exclusive sit-down last year with President Obama the day after he laid out his deficit reduction plan was a reminder of what he does best.
In December, the GMA co-anchor announced his return to ABC’s Sunday morning talk show This Week to focus on politics. (He served as political correspondent and later host from 2002 to early 2010.)
While the Massachusetts native considers the entertainment aspects of his role a bit “outside his wheelhouse,” Stephanopoulos is no stranger to Hollywood, having been the inspiration for Rob Lowe’s Sam Seaborn in NBC’s The West Wing and Michael J. Fox’s Lewis Rothschild in Rob Reiner’s The American President.
“People are fascinated with anything that lifts the veil on our political life,” says Stephanopoulos, who was impressed by HBO’s Game Change and the George Clooney starrer The Ides of March. In his downtime, Stephanopoulos plays supportive husband to actress Alexandra Wentworth, who does a morning podcast of her own from the couple’s kitchen. Says Stephanopoulos: “Sometimes I make a cameo in my gym shorts.”