5:42am PT by Hilary Lewis
'GMA' Bids Farewell to Josh Elliott (Video)
Josh Elliott was nowhere to be seen on Monday's Good Morning America, but news anchor Amy Robach was there for her first of many mornings as the show's new full-time co-host.
Elliott was off on a prearranged vacation day, but co-host George Stephanopoulos acknowledged the news, reported by The Hollywood Reporter Sunday night, that Elliott was leaving for NBC Sports and Robach would be taking over for him as the show's news anchor.
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Stephanopoulos congratulated Robach on her promotion at the top of Monday morning's show and briefly touched on Elliott's departure.
"He is going back to his roots, reporting on the NFL and the Olympics on NBC Sports," Stephanopoulos said. "He let us know last night, and, Josh, it has been a great run with you here on GMA. We're very happy you're going to be pursuing your passion."
As for Robach, Stephanopoulos said, "It feels so natural because Amy has been such a big part of our family for so many days filling in during Robin [Roberts'] illness."
Elliott's departure leaves Stephanopoulos as the only male co-host on GMA, something co-anchor Lara Spencer seemed to allude to when she told him, "The estrogen is flowing."
Robach also wished Elliott her best and talked about how the two had become close friends and would remain so.
"The second phone call I got last night was from Josh, congratulating me," Robach said. "I congratulated him. We've all become such dear friends, and we will remain so. I want to wish him the very best on his new path and his new career."
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Later when Stephanopoulos threw to Robach for the first news update, he said he hoped this would be the first of many tosses to her.
"Thank goodness I've ridden this bicycle before," Robach, who's often made appearances as a correspondent on the show, said.
Robach also did Elliott's signature "Play of the Day" segment.
At the top of the 8 o'clock hour, the GMA anchors noted the change again, with Stephanopoulos saying Elliott is "doing his passion."
Spencer called him her "TV brother," saying, "He's in his zone. We love you. We wish you nothing but the best."
She also teased that they would look back at some of the show's memorable moments with Elliott later, which presumably means later this week, since those weren't featured in the remainder of Monday's show.
Roberts was also missing from GMA's Times Square studio on Monday, but that's because she's in L.A. preparing for her guest-judging gig on Dancing With the Stars, something GMA showed behind-the-scenes footage of throughout Monday's show.
Watch video of the GMA hosts' remarks about Robach and Elliott on Monday's show.
Meanwhile, Elliott, who'd remained silent about the news on Sunday night, late Monday morning tweeted goodbyes to his ABC News colleagues and congratulations to Robach.
A monumental thanks to Disney/ABC TV Group president Ben Sherwood, without whom three of the best years of my life would never have been.— Josh Elliott (@JoshElliottABC) March 31, 2014
While NBC Sports is expected to officially announce Elliott's new role later this week, Elliott's new NBC colleague Al Roker welcomed him to the family with the following tweet Monday morning.
Welcome, Josh Elliot to NBC Sports after your conscious uncoupling from GMA/ABC.— Al Roker (@alroker) March 31, 2014