ABC News Adds New Duo to ‘GMA3’: Eva Pilgrim, DeMarco Morgan

ABC News is betting on a new duo to keep shining daylight at “GMA3.”

Eva Pilgrim and DeMarco Morgan will officially take over as co-anchors of the program, a news-and-lifestyle hour in the early afternoon that is seen as an extension of the Disney network’s flagship “Good Morning America.” They will join Dr. Jen Ashton. Meanwhile, Gio Benitez has been assigned to the team at the weekend version of “GMA.”

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Staffers at ABC News were informed of the decision Thursday morning by Kim Godwin, president of the division.

“I know these programs – and our viewers at home – will be well-served by all of their collective talents,” said Godwin in a memo.

Pilgrim and Morgan will replace Amy Robach and T.J. Holmes, who parted ways with Disney’s ABC after it was revealed that they had been romantically involved with each other behind the scenes, leading to scrutiny that executives felt might tarnish the “GMA” franchise, one of Disney’s programming pillars. “GMA3” has been a bright spot. In 2021, the program generated nearly $43.4 million in advertising, a jump of 26.1% from the nearly $34.4 million it captured in the previous year.

Benitez, meanwhile, will stabilize a weekend lineup that has taken on new importance. ABC in 2019 now doubled the hours of the show’s Saturday broadcast, starting it at 8 a.m. in nearly 100 markets, including New York, Chicago and Philadelphia. All told, the two-hour Saturday broadcast reaches around 98% of the U.S.

“GMA3” has only been on the air for a few years, but it has evolved several times. The program was originally devised as a venue for light celebrity news and conversation, and was hosted by Michael Strahan and Sara Haines. The idea was simple: Expand the reach of “GMA,” which would cost less to do than run other kinds of original daytime programming, and build new roosts for advertisers who had faith in the dependability of the news brand.

And yet, the first concept never really gained traction. When the coronavirus pandemic hit, executives turned the program more toward news, tapping the veteran Robach along with medical correspondent Ashton. Now, “GMA3” has evolved into an hour that mixes the latest headlines with segments focused on entertainment and inspiration. It may evolve yet again.

More to come….

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