Robin Roberts and Diane Sawyer Open Up About Making Morning TV History

From the former Good Morning America duo’s bumpy on-air start to Roberts’ emotional cancer battles

When Roberts (r.) joined Sawyer as anchor of ABC’s Good Morning America in 2005, it marked the first time that two women had hosted a national morning news show. Yolanda Perez for Adweek

In 2005, one year after the launch of TVNewser (now owned by Adweek), morning news history was made when Robin Roberts joined Diane Sawyer as anchor of ABC’s Good Morning America. It marked the first time ever that two women had hosted a national morning news show. They worked side by side for five years, until Sawyer departed in 2009 to anchor ABC World News (she stepped down in 2014 and now focuses on long-form interviews and investigations as an ABC News anchor). ESPN alum Roberts—who had been a GMA contributor for a decade before she was named anchor—remains on the show, now alongside anchors George Stephanopoulos and Michael Strahan. As part of TVNewser’s 15th anniversary this month, and this week’s 30 Most Impactful TV Newsers of the Past 15 Years package, we reunited Roberts and Sawyer. The duo spoke with Adweek TV/media editor Jason Lynch and TVNewser editor A.J. Katz about their time together, including their bumpy start on-air, how Sawyer helped Roberts publicly and bravely share her cancer battle with GMA viewers—twice—and what they miss most about working together.

This story first appeared in the Jan. 14, 2019, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.
@ajkatztv aj.katz@adweek.com A.J. Katz is the senior editor of Adweek's TVNewser.
@jasonlynch jason.lynch@adweek.com Jason Lynch is TV Editor at Adweek, overseeing trends, technology, personalities and programming across broadcast, cable and streaming video.