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Michael Strahan -- forever and affectionately No. 92 -- is about to get a closer close-up: He's joining "Good Morning America."
Meanwhile, Strahan just indicated on the air that the "GMA" move will happen but not as an "every day thing...Gotta be smart about it." He also said "Live" remains "my home...This is great. I'm not sore after the show. We'll see what happens but this is my number one priority."
Trade reports Tuesday said Strahan is a "done" deal -- which I have confirmed -- and that he will be joining the "family" later this week. ABC has declined comment (officially) and is doubtless trying to cobble together answers to all the questions:
How will he do this as well as "Live with Kelly and Michael," which he will remain a part of and which is live at exactly 9 a.m., or about one second after "GMA" wraps?
What happens when the NFL season rolls around again, and his services are required at Fox as an analyst?
Is this one of those reflexive moves designed to quell any annoying questions about the loss of Josh Elliott and how the "family" of "GMA" is really not a " family" but just a group of squabbling rich people who want to get richer now that "GMA" is No. 1?
You know: Those kinds of questions.
Fact is, Strahan has been a success at "Live," and ABC is scrambling to do whatever it can to blunt NBC's Steinbrenner moves -- paying fortunes to people in an attempt to dismember the winning team. Meanwhile, the president of ABC News, Ben Sherwood, is about to become the president of the entire Disney empire; he does not want to leave a shattered "GMA" as his legacy. (And by the way, "shatter" is a highly unlikely scenario certainly in the foreseeable future: "GMA" remains a strong number one...)
And that is how TV works, my friends ...
Piers Morgan is kaput. CNN has confirmed the story that Morgan himself confirmed to The New York Times about an hour ago.
The blunt and unlovely statement: "CNN confirms that Piers Morgan Live is ending. The date of the final program is still to be determined."
Morgan did what he pretty much had to do -- put on a good face in an interview with the Times' David Carr, who knew the score of this game long ago, too, or, as Carr precisely and accurately puts it in his scoop:
"It’s been an unhappy collision between a British television personality who refuses to assimilate — the only football he cares about is round and his lectures on guns were rife with contempt — and a CNN audience that is intrinsically provincial."
Morgan told the Times: "Look, I am a British guy debating American cultural issues, including guns, which has been very polarizing, and there is no doubt that there are many in the audience who are tired of me banging on about it,” he said. “That’s run its course and Jeff and I have been talking for some time about different ways of using me.”
"Jeff" is Jeff Zucker, CNN chief.
Meanwhile, a Times of London story said Morgan may have taken the fall for his anti-gun stance. Good for Morgan, but apparently the Times of London has never heard of "ratings" -- as in "pretty darned not good."
Anyone paying attention a week ago knew that Al Roker said the new mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, knew nothing about weather (or snow days for schools), and the mayor got mad. It was one ridiculous tempest in a teapot. But we may get to relive it all again Monday when "Today" — working to keep that post-Olympics mojo on track — has Bill de Blasio on the show. No word weather . . . um, whether Al Roker will do the interview, but we kinda doubt it. Nevertheless, we will watch.