What an experience the 30th anniversary show was! This was truly a warm and wonderful morning, and I think -- at least I hope -- that the audience got to feel what a real "family" this team is. It was so great to have the old gang back again. David Hartman, Joan Lunden, Spencer Christian (my man!) and everyone else are such class acts. This show has a special place in the hearts of TV viewers, and it definitely has a special place in my heart. I have been able to make some dreams come true on this job. This has been, and continues to be, a real blessing.
The editorial staff and technical crews were "our work family." For more than 11 years it was a privilege to work with them 12-15 hours most days, sometimes seven days per week. To a person, all were committed to presenting accurate, thoughtful information, in good taste, that viewers could use in constructive ways in their lives. Egos never got in the way of "our mission" to make the program as excellent as we could. My daily sign-off line, "Make it a good day today," reflected "GMA's" values and the belief that each of us can affect our lives in a positive way, that our program was, we hoped, a public service. I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to have been in "that chair" working with the finest people, personally and professionally, that can be found in our business of television.
There is far more pure "entertainment" than during my years, 1975-1987. I can recall only a few very brief musical performances: my duet with Luciano Pavarotti singing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas," my duet with Miss Piggy (the brilliant Frank Oz) singing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," and perhaps only a handful of others. Also, there was no cable competition then, only "Today" and "CBS Morning News." Today's program is much faster paced with generally significantly shorter segments and multiple simultaneous images jumping out at us. Our actual newscast portions were much longer than now as well. Morning TV was calmer and quieter then. Because there were no cable networks, only essentially, "GMA" and "Today," these two programs were venues that national and world leaders used to present their views and messages on a regular basis. So, we were frequently "making news" and being quoted in the media until evening news and morning newspapers moved those stories forward. One value, though, remains consistent: that the morning programs are welcomed in homes and hotel rooms across the nation as a pleasant and warm "part of the family."
Haven't a clue, but Charlie, Diane, Robin and Tony are as fine morning hosts as have EVER been on morning TV.
"GMA" has truly been part of my family life for 30 years. I wouldn't have missed a minute of it. I am blessed and grateful.
Well, I wish I could remember how many times my animals have defecated on David Hartman, Joan Lunden, Charlie Gibson and Diane Sawyer! In all seriousness -- I have had so many wonderful memories since my first appearance in 1983. Here are a few of the more comical moments:
We were all set to do a live hit about releasing manatees back into the wild, and the manatees got lost and missed the segment. Oops!