As Josh Elliott leaves Good Morning America for NBC Sports, I wrote at Quartz about NBC’s new approach to morning show success: if you can’t beat them, steal them.
Of course, poaching is nothing new in the morning show wars (CBS hired away Today’s Bryant Gumbel in 1997; he began hosting The Early Show in 1999), but this is a new evolution as media conglomerates have continued to expand. NBC Universal can in essence kill two birds with one stone: fill a vital need in one area of its company (NBC Sports was searching for a viable heir apparent to Bob Costas, the Weather Channel was looking to keep viewers tuned in more than 15 minutes each morning) while simultaneously boosting another property—Today—by damaging a competitor, and the tight-knit five-person anchor team that propelled GMA to first place. Suddenly, two of those five anchors have been snapped up by NBC Universal.
Watch your back, GMA!