'GMA 40 for 40': 'GMA' Stars From the Past 40 Years Reunite

Joan Lunden and David Hartman jokingly delivered the traditional "GMA" open.

ByABC News
November 18, 2015, 4:56 PM

— -- "Good Morning America" co-anchors, meteorologists, correspondents and contributors from the past 40 years reunited today in Times Square during the show's "40 for 40" livestream event to mark the show's 40th anniversary.

Robin Roberts led the reunion that started with Joan Lunden and David Hartman, co-anchors together in the 1980s, saying the traditional, "Good morning, America," introduction, complete with their show's music and logo, before Roberts jokingly interrupted.

The co-anchors were then joined in "GMA's" Times Square studio by Diane Sawyer and Charlie Gibson -- who also served as co-anchors -- and Spencer Christian and Sam Champion, who each spent years on "GMA" as the show's meteorologists.

Hartman, who opened the first-ever show on Nov. 3, 1975, called it a “moment of giant privilege” to host “GMA.”

Lunden recalled her first day in the anchor chair as a “baptism by fire” because of the early-morning call she got to jump on air when Hartman and his on-air partner at the time, Sandy Hill, had laryngitis.

“Each one of us has learned from the person that we have come and sat down next to,” Lunden said. “He [David Hartman] was like having a professor that was there who was very generous."

"He was very generous in helping me," she said of Hartman.

Christian said it was Hartman's voice that provided him a level of comfort on the first day he ever appeared on "GMA," in 1977.

"It was something about David’s voice that was so comforting and reassuring that right away my nervousness went away, and a star was born,” Christian said with a laugh, and prompting laughs from everyone else.

Gibson was teased by his fellow former co-anchors for wearing a suit and tie on his first day in 1987 that was shot on location at Miami’s Fisher Island. Gibson remembered his very first days on "GMA" more for how nervous he was.

“I was scared to death,” Gibson said. “I remember, you get the homework, you get the packets, and I was reading those [research] packets, every word, until about 1 o’clock in the morning."

"That first week I was terrified," he said.

Sawyer didn’t recall nerves her first day but recalled more the difficult transition from her past career in print to working on-air.

"It never occurred to me that being in the studio was going to be a decathlon,” Sawyer joked in reference to the logistics of the set and the varied interviews. "I couldn't find the cameras and I was going to the wrong interviews."

“I remember at the end of the show you just collapsed on the desk with your head down,” recalled Gibson, her co-anchor at the time.

When it came to their on-air partnerships, Lunden recalled Gibson telling her early on that they would be equal on-air partners and Gibson recalled having conversations with Sawyer deciding the two of them would not argue over interviews or assignments.

"You have to have that level of feeling about the person you're working with because if the person next to you is not doing well, you're not doing well," Gibson said.

Champion said he has had a "first day" with every "GMA" anchor team since 1989.

"I remember seeing Diane Sawyer walk in ... and the set just got so quiet because Diane Sawyer was walking through the set," he said. "I have all these incredible memories."

In addition to the daily on-air team, several “GMA” correspondents and contributors joined the reunion, including former ABC News’ correspondents Geraldo Rivera and Bill Ritter, food contributor Sara Moulton, home improvement expert Ron Hazelton, entertainment correspondent Rona Barrett and Jack Hanna, Director Emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.