Talk about bad timing for ABC News.
Word is that Good Morning America anchors Josh Elliott, Robin Roberts and Lara Spencer all have contracts coming up and since GMA is now sitting in first place, it might get expensive for the Mouse.
The Hollywood Reporter says that the scenario described by an executive at a competing news division is "a nightmare" for ABC News chief Ben Sherwood.
Not surprisingly, agents for the GMA crew quietly have been playing the field. Sources say representatives for Spencer, 44, and Elliott, 42, in particular have spoken to executives at NBC News. Both joined the show as anchors in 2011 as ABC News brass reconfigured GMA from its traditional dual-anchor format into an ensemble -- a successful move that Today also adopted recently.
Spencer and Elliott, who co-hosted the summer spinoff Good Afternoon America in 2012, are said to be looking to grow their brands through larger roles at ABC -- or elsewhere. Meanwhile, Roberts, 52, who returned full-time to GMA in September after a four-day-a-week schedule following a bone marrow transplant, has plenty of options within the Disney-ABC organization, including her own talk show. "There are a lot of things on the table for Robin," says one source.
Certainly, GMA's strong performance during the past year and a half gives its crew no small amount of leverage. The morning show had its largest audience in more than 21 years for the 2012-13 season. (Nielsen's electronic database began in September 1991.) It also bested Today by its widest margin (86,000) among viewers 25-to-54, the demographic upon which news programs are sold. The show's ratings remained impressively steady with multiple fill-in anchors including Amy Robach andElizabeth Vargas.
"They definitely have leverage," says another source. "But there's also leverage on the other side."