June 28, 2006

Gibson says goodbye to “Good Morning America”

By Paul J. Gough

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - Charles Gibson said goodbye
to "Good Morning America" on Wednesday, surrounded by his
family and Kermit the Frog.

Gibson has been doing double duty for weeks, working the
morning shift at "GMA," which he has had on and off since 1987,
and recently taking over full-time anchoring duties on "World
News Tonight." After seeing "GMA" through month's end, Gibson
is going full-time to "WNT."

"GMA" and ABC News threw him a big on-air party Wednesday,
celebrating Gibson's nearly two decades of mornings. Attending
were Gibson's family, including his wife, children and
3-month-old grandson plus Kermit the Frog, baseball legend Cal
Ripken Jr., former ABC News correspondent Steve Bell and, of
course, co-hosts Diane Sawyer and Robin Roberts.

"For 19 years, my mornings have been not just good, they've
been great," Gibson told viewers at the end of the two-hour


Bell toasted Gibson, who began his morning-show career in
1987 with Joan Lunden, then left in 1997 for other ABC News
assignments. But after "GMA" ran up on the rocks against
"Today," Gibson and Sawyer returned in 1999 and came
tantalizingly close last year to unseating "Today" before the
gap widened.

Gibson said that he cared more about Sawyer and Roberts
than anyone else in this business.

"I didn't know Diane very well when we started our
temporary gig here. I just knew I loved her as a broadcaster,"
Gibson said. "I came quickly to love her as a person. And Robin
is an American original who, we knew from the day she walked on
the set, would fit right in."

Gibson joins an evening newscast scene that, like the
mornings, has changed rapidly in the past few months. "NBC
Nightly News" remains on top in total viewership but, for the
past two weeks, was edged out by Gibson's "WNT" in the demo.
CBS, while still in third place, is destined to challenge both
with the September arrival of Katie Couric.

Couric and Brian Williams offered taped congratulations to
Gibson in his move from morning to evenings, with Williams
wishing him limited luck.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter