'Good Morning America' beats 'Today' in ratings battle


George Stephanopoulos and Robin Roberts, the hosts of "Good Morning America" at ABC Studios on February 13, 2012 in New York City, with Tim Gunn, Jess Cagle, Nina Garcia and Louise Roe. "Good Morning America" reportedly beat NBC's "Today" show in the weekly ratings for the first time the week of April 9, 2012, after an 852-week winning streak held by "Today."


Janette Pellegrini

ABC's "Good Morning America" looked poised to beat NBC's "Today" in the weekly ratings, for the first time in 16 years, according to the Associated Press.

On Monday, Nielsen Co. said that GMA beat NBC's morning show on April 9 by a slight margin of 13,000 viewers, ending its ratings winning streak of 852 consecutive weeks.

Nielsen's preliminary ratings said GMA averaged 5.147 million viewers, where as Today averaged 5.134 million, according to USA Today.

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The Los Angeles Times noted that GMA, currently hosted by George Stephanopoulos and Robin Roberts, had beaten Today on individual days before, but it hadn't done so in the weekly averages since 1996. The LA Times noted that Today just signed co-host Matt Lauer for a new contract that will last several years.

The New York Times noted that Today still led in the 25 to 54-year-olds demographic, which is key for attracting advertisers.

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GMA's senior executive producer, Tom Cibrowski, said in a statement on Monday, "This is an exciting day but we will save any celebrating for when the final numbers come in on Thursday," according to The Times.

The official Nielsen figures will be released on Thursday and may be adjusted slightly.

Today's executive producer, Jim Bell, said in a statement that the show's streak "had taken on a life of its own and as odd as it is to see it end, we should acknowledge just how remarkable it has been. So as we tip our caps to the team at 'Good Morning America,' we can also take a bow ourselves and recognize the work done by countless staffers for so long," according to Bloomberg.

For the week of April 2, Katie Couric, Today's long time anchor, guest hosted GMA. In response, Today had Sarah Palin guest host on April 3.

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