8:05am PT by Marisa Guthrie
Lara Spencer Finalizes New Deal to Stay at 'Good Morning America' (Exclusive)
Lara Spencer has finalized a new long-term deal to stay at Good Morning America, The Hollywood Reporter has learned exclusively.
“You know you're in the right job when getting up at 4 a.m. is a joy,” said Spencer in a statement provided to THR. "This was a simple decision; I love what I do, and I adore the people I work with. I am thrilled to be on this team and look forward to many more years."
Spencer's deal follows a new pact with Robin Roberts made late last year and the departure of weather anchor Sam Champion in December. It is an important marker for ABC executives who have been working to keep the rest of the No. 1 morning show's on-air team together. Negotiations are ongoing with Josh Elliott, who is mulling an offer from NBC Sports with less than a month left on his ABC contract.
“We couldn't be happier,” senior vp Jeffrey Schneider told THR. “Lara is a uniquely gifted anchor at the top of her game. She brings so much energy, fun and smarts to every single broadcast. She is beloved by our viewers with good reason."
Spencer, GMA's lifestyle anchor since 2011, is seen as integral to the show. She has been a presence on ABC's red-carpet coverage of the Academy Awards and also appears frequently on HGTV showcasing her knack for unearthing flea-market treasures. While GMA remains the top priority, sources say her ambition in negotiations with ABC was to broaden her brand. So expect to see her more frequently outside of the morning show.
“Lara is a talented producer who has created terrific original content,” adds Schneider. “And we expect that she will continue to flex those muscles in the coming years."
GMA has ranked as the most-watched morning show for nearly two years -- for 86 of the last 90 weeks -- while NBC's Today was back on top during the two weeks of NBC's coverage of the 2012 London Summer Olympics and the Winter Games last February in Sochi. In the 25-54 demographic, which is the only rating that matters to the show's bottom line, GMA has been No. 1 for 22 of 26 weeks this season.