Amy Robach, the ABC News correspondent whose on-air mammogram revealed breast cancer last fall, has been promoted to "Good Morning America" news anchor to fill the vacancy left by Josh Elliott.
Robach will fill Elliott's spot on the panel that includes Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos, and Lara Spencer, as the former sports reporter goes back to his roots at NBC Sports.
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In a memo to ABC staff Sunday, network president Ben Sherwood explained the lineup change.
"As many of you know, we have been negotiating with Josh these past several months," Sherwood wrote. "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."
Robach, 41, has warmed the hearts of viewers since October, when she had an on-air mammogram and was eventually diagnosed with breast cancer. She underwent a double mastectomy in mid-November and learned the cancer had spread to one of her lymph nodes. In early December, Robach announced that she would work through multiple rounds of chemotherapy that her doctors ordered.
"I can only hope my story will ... inspire every woman who hears it to get a mammogram, to take a self-exam," she wrote in a "GMA" blog post in January.
"No excuses. It is the difference between life and death."
Sherwood said Robach was the natural choice for the job opening.
"We always knew that Amy was special and we have all been especially inspired to watch her battle breast cancer with grace and determination," he wrote in his memo. "Indeed, she thrilled us with two weeks of memorable dispatches from Sochi anchoring our Olympic coverage — all between chemo treatments."
Media insiders say Elliott jumping ship from ABC to top competitor NBC represents a huge shakeup in the morning news show landscape and ratings race.
"How much the move to hire Mr. Elliott was intended to bolster the sports division and how much to unsettle the cast lineup at 'GMA' is a question NBC is unlikely to answer," The New York Times' Bill Carter wrote
. "But there is little doubt that NBC had a dual purpose in going after Mr. Elliott."
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