ABC Gets OK for Weekend Morning News Show


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Thursday, December 11th, 2003

ABC-TV: The Place to be this FallABC's affiliate board (which includes KABC-TV) on Thursday, 12-11, gave the network's news division the go-ahead to produce weekend morning news shows to compete with CBS and NBC.

The network plans to start weekend editions of "Good Morning America" next fall, spokesman Jeffrey Schneider said.

ABC needed the OK from its stations because they will have to clear the time on their schedules to make way for the programs. On Saturday mornings, many ABC stations air children's programming.

ABC previously had weekend news programs, but they were eliminated several years ago in a cost-cutting move.

This has not only given its rivals a competitive edge among news aficionados on the weekend, it leaves the network at a disadvantage when big news breaks. ABC affiliates were angry last February when the network, with a skeleton news crew available, was slow reporting on the space shuttle explosion.

The network would also like to see a national news program on Sunday to provide a stronger lead-in to George Stephanopoulos' struggling "This Week."

"This is something we've long been in favor of and we're thrilled to have the support of our affiliate board," Schneider said.