Hello, and welcome to the inaugural Political Insider weekly report. To readers of the Political Punch-Out, this is similar. Although Punch-Out is daily and short-term, this will be weekly and focus more on the bigger, long-term headlines.
BREAKING: Josh Elliot Leaving ABC News and GMA, Amy Robach Replacing Him
After weeks of reports regarding contract negotiations, it has been reported that Josh Elliot will leave Good Morning America and ABC News. Elliot will join NBC Sports. Reports have indicated that Elliot and his agent were looking for a significant raise with some reports pegging it at $8 million, however ABC did not want to go that high. That was alluded to in a leaked memo from ABC News’s Ben Sherwood. Amy Robach has been promoted to Elliot’s position as News Anchor.
Mediaite did get its hand on the memo that announced Elliot’s departure and Robach’s promotion:
I want to share some news about GMA.
I’m excited to let you know that we have promoted Amy Robach to News Anchor on Good Morning America effective immediately. Amy is a world class anchor and correspondent who is beloved by our morning audience and all who know her.
Amy has become a familiar face on GMA, filling in for Robin Roberts for many of the 174 days that Robin spent recovering from her bone marrow transplant. Amy brought us moving interviews with the families of the Newtown shooting victims and she delivered a riveting report from inside the world of polygamist leader Warren Jeffs. Showing her lighter side, Amy covered the birth of Prince George from London and brought us inside Downton Abbey.
Amy began her career as a general assignment reporter in South Carolina and moved on to become a morning anchor in Washington DC where she covered 9/11 from the Pentagon. Amy is a gifted interviewer, sitting down with world leaders including Barack Obama, John McCain, Nancy Pelosi, Speaker Newt Gingrich, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Prince Harry. She spent five years at NBC where she was an anchor at MSNBC and co-host of Weekend Today.
We always knew that Amy was special and we have all been especially inspired to watch her battle breast cancer with grace and determination. Indeed, she thrilled us with two weeks of memorable dispatches from Sochi anchoring our Olympic coverage — all between chemo treatments. Amy will be a fierce and formidable full-time addition to our GMA team.
At the same time, Josh Elliott let us know today that he is going to NBC Sports.
As many of you know, we have been negotiating with Josh these past several months. In good faith, we worked hard to close a significant gap between our generous offer and his expectations. In the end, Josh felt he deserved a different deal and so he chose a new path.
I want to thank Josh for his many contributions to GMA and ABC News. Later in the week, we will bid him farewell.
With Robin, George, Lara, Ginger and Amy, GMA’s best days are ahead. Just this month the broadcast enjoyed its biggest audience ever. In the days ahead, there will be more good news on the show, so stay tuned. As we make this transition, we must keep our attention laser-focused on the most important goal – serving our loyal viewers each and every day with a big picture understanding of the world.
Please join me in congratulating Amy on her well-earned promotion. And let’s bid goodbye to Josh with gratitude and good wishes.
MEDIA: TKNN reported earlier today about CNN’s new experimentation in the 9 P.M. timeslot.
From the report:
News outlets have had to rely on Twitter and sources for updates. The network never announced an end date for Piers Morgan Live, network sources pegged the end of March as the end date. The date was later confirmed by Piers Morgan Live executive producer, Jonathan Wald, on Twitter the day before the final show. Later, network sources released that Michael Smerconish, Jake Tapper, Bill Weir, and Don Lemon were all going to try-outs in the 9 P.M. timeslot. Again, this was never confirmed by the network.
Smerconish announced at the end of his weekly show yesterday that the show would be airing that week in primetime. His show is the first in the series of experiments. His show will maintain the branding for his weekday run and the same staff. It is unknown whether other shows will maintain its branding.
2014 CHECK: The District of Columbia has the only primary this week. However, look for new polls to come out as well as fundraising announcements. The first fundraising deadline of 2014 is tomorrow night which means volunteers (and those on the press list) are receiving numerous reminders from their campaigns.
Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who is not on the ballot, sent out an email today with the subject, “wake-up call.” The email references the Florida election which Republican David Jolly won and says that more money is needed for Democratic women to win. Gillibrand’s Off the Sidelines PAC has been raising money for Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Kay Hagan (D-NC), and Mary Landrieu (D-LA). Jeanne Shaheen was recently profiled by Politico and the article discussed her plans to defeat Scott Brown (R).
2016 WATCH: This week, several potential Republican presidential candidates went to meet with Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire donor to Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and other Republican interests. Scott Walker, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Scott Walker, and John Kasich were among those meeting with Adelson. Senators Rand Paul and Marco Rubio not among those meeting with the casino magnate. The news of the event has led many political reporters to deem this the beginning of 2016 fundraising.
The Washington Post reported on Saturday that influential Republicans are planning for and hoping for a Jeb Bush run in 2016. The article mentions how Bush has reached out to donors and traveled the country giving speeches. Reporters Robert Costa and Phillip Rucker write that Bush is having casual communications with his advisors over a potential run. They also talk to GOP strategists who talk about how excited they are for a potential Bush run.