'GMA' Narrows Ratings Gap With 'Today'; Closest in 4 Years

Ida Mae Astute/ABC
"Good Morning America's" Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos

The NBC show, which saw Ann Curry replace Meredith Vieira two months ago, still leads ABC but only by about 500,000 total viewers.

ABC's Good Morning America is closing in on the morning show lead long held by Today.

GMA has narrowed its No. 2 standing behind its NBC rival to the lowest it's been in four years, Bloomberg reported.

The ABC program, hosted by George Stephanopoulos and Robin Roberts, trails Today by only about 500,000 total viewers.

Today is averaging 5.03 million viewers per day, up 6.7 from a year ago, while GMA is at 4.46 million, up 15%.

Both shows also are up in the key adults 25-54 demo, with Today showing a 7.1% increase and GMA up 8.2%.

James Goldston, who became senior exec producer of GMA five months ago, attributes the show's gain on Today to its revamped features, including its cooking segments, as well as its daily entertainment segement.

"We've got a show that is working very well," Goldston told Bloomberg. "We're heading into the fall and the future with more confidence."

Meanwhile, Today recently underwent a talent change, with Ann Curry replacing Meredith Vieira as Matt Lauer's co-host in June.

But the show has bounced back from previous times when it saw its lead shrink following on-air staffing switches. And, according to Nielsen data supplied to Bloomberg by Horizon Media head of research Brad Adgate, Today still commands higher advertising rates, with a 30-second Today spot going for an average of $67,900 in May vs. $41,400 for GMA.

Today executive producer Jim Bell doesn't seem concerned about the ratings, noting the show has increased its lead over GMA in the demo by 22,000 viewers since June.

"The only number that matters is the demo," he said. "Our advantage over our competitors since Ann joined has only grown. I'm not sure what further evidence we'd need. That's a resounding endorsement."