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.
"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."