Josh Elliott of 'Good Morning America' to Depart ABC News for NBC Sports
"We worked hard to close a significant gap between our generous offer and [Elliott's] expectations," wrote ABC News president Ben Sherwood in a staff memo.
Josh Elliott is departing ABC News for NBC Sports, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter. He'll have a robust role on all of NBC Sports' signature franchises, including the network's coverage of the Triple Crown, the Olympics and Sunday Night Football. But sources there stress that he will not replace any of NBC Sports' current on-air analysts and talent. An announcement from NBC Sports is expected later this week.
Elliott, part of the Good Morning America team that helped to topple the Today show's 16-year morning news streak, has been in a heated negotiation with ABC executives for many months. He informed the network on Sunday that he would depart. ABC News president Ben Sherwood sent an email to staffers Sunday evening announcing that Amy Robach would become news anchor on GMA and that Elliott would be leaving the network.
"As many of you know, we have been negotiating with Josh these past several months. In good faith, we worked hard to close a significant gap between our generous offer and his expectations," wrote Sherwood. "In the end, Josh felt he deserved a different deal, and so he chose a new path."
Sources tell THR that ABC News offered Elliott between $4 and $5 million, a substantial raise from the $800,000 he was making. Meanwhile, ABC News executives last week finalized a new long-term deal with anchor Lara Spencer, while longtime weather anchor Sam Champion departed Good Morning America last December for The Weather Channel.
Robach is very familiar to GMA audiences. She was among the anchors who filled in for Robin Roberts during Roberts' treatment for a bone marrow and blood disease, and she has continued to appear on the show. Sherwood characterized Robach as a "world-class anchor" and singled out Robach's interviews with families of Newtown shooting victims and her reporting on polygamist leader Warren Jeffs.