Good Morning America has been bringing viewers their morning news and gossip for more than four decades. Starting in 1975, the program turned the morning show format on its ear with the conversational tone it took to deliver both hard news stories and lighter features. Though it has struggled to keep up with Today, the show has its highest viewership ever. Here are seven facts about Good Morning America you didn’t know.
Number Seven: The Name of the Show Comes from a Steve Goodman Song
After the failure of A.M. America in early 1975, ABC revamped their show by gaining inspiration from local morning shows. Although one of these shows was named Good Morning!, the real name for the show came from an old Steve Goodman song. In the chorus to “City of New Orleans,” Goodman sings the line “Good morning America, how are ‘ya,” about riding the rails and greeting the day. The sentiment and recognition were good, and the network appropriated it for their show.
Number Six: It Won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Morning Show Three Years in a Row
When the Daytime Emmy Awards started presenting the Outstanding Morning Program award in 2007, Good Morning America tied with rival morning program, Today, as the first recipient. In 2008 and 2009, the program received the award alone, making it three years in a row that the program received the honor. The program also received the award in 2014.
Number Five: Robin Roberts Has Been with ‘Good Morning America’ the Longest
Robin Roberts started with Good Morning America in 1995 as a sports reporter and, in 2002, became a news correspondent. She was promoted to co-host in 2005 and though she has been through chemotherapy treatments for both breast cancer and myelodysplastic syndrome, she remains in this position to this day. In all, she has been with the show for more than two decades, making her the longest-running contributor to the show.
Number Four: They Were the First to Have Two Women Hosting a Morning Show
When Charles Gibson left Good Morning America for the second time in 2005, it left Diane Sawyer and Robin Roberts as the show’s two remaining co-hosts. Such a pairing had never been done before this on a morning news program. The result was a surge in viewership that brought the program into a virtual tie for first with Today.
Number Three: Good Morning America Was the First Morning Show to Report On Location
Good Morning America did its first on location broadcast in 1986 from Windsor Castle the week that Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson married. This marked the first time that a morning show would do an entire broadcast from a location other than their studio. The show continued to do remote broadcasts for important world events. Between 1999 and 2005, Charles Gibson and Diane Sawyer broadcast the show from the U.S.S. Enterprise, the Pentagon, the Vatican and the White House.
Number Two: Two of Their Co-Hosts Have Documented Their Cancer Treatments Live On Air
When Robin Roberts found out about her breast cancer, she was very public about what she was going through, continuing on with the show even though she was going through chemotherapy. During her second brush with cancer five years later, this time myelodysplastic syndrome, she was even more open, bringing cameras with her throughout her entire journey to recovery. Less than a year later, correspondent Amy Robach, who had come on from ABC News to fill in for Roberts, found out that she had breast cancer during a mammogram she took on the show. She would go on to document her recovery both on Good Morning America and ABC News.
Number One: It Used to Be an Entertainment Show
While Good Morning America’s main direction has always been news with a more conversational tone, ABC originally characterized it as an entertainment program. The first hosts, David Hartman and Nancy Dussault, were actors and singers respectively. When Dussault left in 1977, the show got its first news anchor, Sandy Hill. It wasn’t until the mid-1990s that the program would change over to the news division of ABC. Thank you for reading our list of seven facts you didn’t know about Good Morning America. We hope you enjoyed it!