Despite less-than-enthusiastic reviews, especially for their less-than-lifelike banter, the debut of Diane Sawyer and Charlie Gibson as the new anchor team for ABC’s “Good Morning America” boosted ratings of the program a dramatic 34% from its fourth quarter average, according to Nielsen Media Research. “GMA” drew a 3.9 national rating and 16 share Monday, which translates into 4.3 million viewers. It still finished behind NBC’s “Today,” which drew 5.7 million viewers (down 4% from its fourth quarter average), but still ahead of CBS’ “This Morning,” which was up 4%, with 3 million viewers.

  • In related news, Tony Perkins, anchor of Fox’s local morning show in Washington DC, was chosen Wednesday to replace Spencer Christian as the “GMA” weather forecaster. (Amid much publicity, local New York weathercaster, blond, blue-eyed Sam Champion tried out for the job but obviously didn’t make the cut.) Earlier this week the network appointed Antonio Mora as full-time newscaster on the show.
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