REPORT: GMA LOST VIEWERS WITH COURIC
The career path of Katie Couric is beginning to resemble that of another former Today show co-host, Jane Pauley, after Pauley left the NBC morning show. Brought on as a substitute co-host for Robin Roberts, Couric returned to early-morning TV on ABC’s Good Morning America last week and was expected to lift it to first place for the week for the first time since 1995. Just the opposite happened. The audience gap between the two morning shows widened to about 400,000 while Couric was hosting the show. That makes it two flops in a row for Couric, who presided over a ratings-challenged CBS Evening News for five years before joining ABC. (This fall, she is scheduled to launch an afternoon talk show — as Pauley did, with disastrous results, in 2004.) Meanwhile, Tom Cibrowski, the senior executive producer of GMA, has told the New York Times that its goal is to “become the No. 1 morning television program, and we will not stop until we do.” He denied that he was disappointed in Couric’s performance on the show, saying that Couric may fill in again in the future, perhaps when co-host George Stephanopoulos takes a vacation.