Charlie's Goodbye

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And so this wonderful 19-year experience of a lifetime comes to an end.

I've always believed this to be the best-named broadcast in the history of television.

And I've always said we broadcast at an hour you wouldn't have your best friend into the house.

The dishes aren't done, the beds aren't made, the kids are at their wildest -- but you let us come into your homes and treat us like friends.

We share your breakfast table each day. That is always so important to us; but never more so than when we went through the national agony of 9/11 or the long trial of picking a president in the year 2000.

I will miss our breakfast conversations, more than I can adequately say. And I will miss the folks who work on this broadcast -- on air and off.

There are no two people I care more about in this business than Diane Sawyer and Robin Roberts. I didn't know Diane very well when we started our "temporary" gig here -- I just knew I loved her as a broadcaster.

I came quickly to love her as a person. And Robin is an American original -- who, we knew from the day she walked on the set, would fit right in. She is a joy to be with.

Joan Lunden, Spencer Christian, Tony Perkins, Kate Snow, Bill Weir, Joel Siegel -- be well, Joel -- there are too many people to name that you've seen on the air. They are all so good -- and they all share the love we have for this franchise of "Good Morning America."

David Hartman started it -- it's been around 30 years -- [and] we expect it will be around at least 30 more.

A couple of personal mentions, if you'll allow me -- Phil Beuth, who hired me when everyone thought he was crazy; David Westin, who would not let me leave ABC. Thanks.

Executive producers these last eight years -- Ben Sherwood and Shelly Ross. Grace Huang, who has put up with me since the beginning. Cindy Reilly, who has looked after my interest better than I could. Heartfelt thanks to you.

To this magnificent staff, you all deserve raises. But I'll let the audience in on a secret: Almost everyone who works here comes away saying it was the best job -- maybe the most exhausting -- but the best job they ever had.

And to you who watch, the greatest thanks of all. We have met some of you on the road, and as you have come to visit our studios. We deeply appreciate your letting us be a small part of your lives.

Diane and Robin will be here Thursday. Once more I say "Good Morning America." For 19 years, my mornings have been not just good -- they've been great.

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