10:20am PT by Michael O'Connell
Lara Spencer Promoted to Co-Host of 'Good Morning America'
Amid plenty of changes at Good Morning America, one person rising in the ranks is Lara Spencer. The fixture of the series, who recently signed a new contract, has been elevated to co-host.
Newly named ABC News chief James Goldston informed staff on Friday in a memo timed to the show's two-year ratings dominance over Today. She will now hold the same title as Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos after serving as the lifestyles anchor since 2011.
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"A key member of our on-air team, Lara Spencer, rejoined ABC three years ago -- bringing her style, humor, sunny confidence, wonderful journalism and storytelling to GMA," writes Goldston. "Lara is clearly an essential ingredient in the success we have enjoyed and I am so pleased to announce that Lara has been elevated to co-host of the program along with Robin and George."
It has been an incredibly busy month behind the scenes of GMA. Spencer signed a new contract after lengthy negotiations, and soon thereafter fellow anchor Josh Elliott announced a departure for NBC News. The show quickly announced two contributor additions in Michael Strahan and Tony Reali. (Weatherman Sam Champion also departed in December.)
Tapping Spencer for a boosted role on the top-rated morning show is the first big move for Goldston, who was named Ben Sherwood's successor on April 10. Sherwood begins to transition to the new role of co-chairman of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney/ABC Television, since he was announced as James Goldston's heir.
"I remain in awe of the entire staff at GMA," added Goldston. "With Tom [Cibrowski] at the helm and Ben's brilliant leadership, your drive, passion, creativity and unwavering dedication to ABC News and GMA brought us to where we are today. As I close out my first week in the new job, I want to take a moment to thank everyone for all your good wishes. I could not be more excited and honored to work with this stellar team. Your dedication and passion are unmatched and I look forward to reaching great new heights alongside all of you."