1 9 7 5 – Current (USA)
This long-running week morning ABC news show debuted at 07:00 on Monday 3 November 1975, replacing the show AM America.
Broadcast between 7.00 am and 9.00 am in all American states (live in the Eastern Time Zone and on broadcast delay elsewhere across the country), the show featured news, interviews, weather forecasts, special-interest stories, and feature segments such as “Pop News” (featuring popular culture and entertainment news).
The first hosts were actor David Hartman and musical comedy star Nancy Dussault. Regular contributors included Jack Anderson (Washington reporter), Rona Barrett (Hollywood beat), Jonathan Winters (on humour), Erma Bombeck (columnist), and Geraldo Rivera (on the scene).
Dussault was replaced in April 1977 by the exuberant Sandy Hill who lasted until 1980 when she left after run-ins with Hartman.
She was replaced by Joan Lunden and Hartman and Lunden led GMA through several years of success. Lunden’s popularity led to her promotion to co-anchor in 1986, and to more equal footing with Hartman than any woman before her. The partnership ended on February 20, 1987, when Hartman retired after 3,189 broadcasts.
Lunden was then paired with Charles Gibson and the duo became the most popular news partnership on television in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
The show expanded into weekends with the debut of a Sunday edition on 3 January 1993. The Sunday edition was cancelled in 1999 but hour-long weekend editions returned on both Saturdays and Sundays in September 2004.
Lunden stepped down on 5 September 1997 and was replaced by ABC News correspondent Lisa McRee.
The pairing of Gibson and McRee fared well in the ratings until Gibson also left the show to make way for Kevin Newman on 1 May 1998.
New producer Shelley Ross was brought in to shake up the show, ditching the McRee-Newman team and bringing in Diane Sawyer with a returning Charles Gibson. Viewership increased by nearly 1 million households and revenue soared.
In 2005, newsreader Robin Roberts was promoted to co-anchor, joining Gibson and Sawyer.
For the first seven years, weather forecasts were presented by John Coleman. He left in 1982 to start The Weather Channel and was replaced by Dave Murray. Murray was replaced in August 1986 by Spencer Christian.