Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Up Early in the Morning

They're breaking up the Dream Team over at ABC Television, or, more accurate to say, the Dream Team is breaking itself up.

Their morning show, "Good Morning America," is the top rated show, ahead of "Today" on NBC and "CBS This Morning."  People really seem to like the team on GMA.  They're led by Robin Roberts, whose brave battle against cancer has inspired people the world over to face their own medical situations, and George Stephanopoulos.  Josh Elliott is their news reader.  

Well, Josh is leaving for NBC Sports.  It seems that he was making a million dollars a year for getting up at oh-dark-thirty to smile and read news stories, deftly moving from Putin/Obama sabre rattling to stories about kids stuck in vending machines and being rescued by firefighters.  Josh felt underpaid for his million, and so he is joining Sam Champion, the weather guy who is not a meteorologist, in heading out the door.  (Champion left for the Weather Channel a couple of months ago.)  

The reports say that Josh was asking for a raise from one million to ten million per year, and Lara Spencer, the hoarse-voiced person who handles "Pop" news - celebrity weddings, breakups, plastic surgery fails and stories about Justin Bieber getting stuck in a vending machine - just signed a new contract last week, probably for the kind of money Elliott was asking.  So no ten million clams for Josh, and out he goes.

I get the chance to flip around the three shows while I'm doing my breakfast dishes.  ABC seems to be for people who really are not into news but love celebrity stuff - sort of like People magazine.  NBC,  I don't know what they're going for.  They have a lot of concerts outside in Rockefeller Plaza but they try to do hard news too.  They say things like "And we're back after this" which make me wonder, well, are you back or are you not?  And CBS, bringing up the rear, focuses more on real hard news than the others, and pays the price with #3 ratings.

He's leaving, she's staying: Spencer and Elliott
All of the morning shows, as well as CNN and, I guess FOX News (I never watch them) have focused an awful lot lately about speculation as to the fate of the Malaysian airplane.  A well-informed person can look at the newspaper and see that the plane has not been found yet, and no one knows any more than anyone else about what happened to flight 370.  But that doesn't stop the news shows from showing distraught family members and loved ones of the people on the plane in their agony, and showing reporters dubbed "aviation experts" with their ideas about where the damned plane is.

Their guess is as good as yours, and you can ask for 10 million dollars for being on a show that puts their guesses on your screen.  You might not get it, but it doesn't hurt to ask.

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