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When contract negotiations became terse, Elliott was so eager to get away from ABC that he took a job from NBC Sports that was less than Sherwood’s offer ($5 million).
If the deal is reached, it’s not clear how soon Elliott would return, but it could mean a reshuffling of talent on “GMA.” A source says executives at ABC News believe the current lineup of personalities — led by George Stephanopoulos and Robin Roberts, along with Amy Robach, Ginger Zee and Lara Spencer — isn’t as gender-balanced as it once was, which is why they are open to bringing Elliott back.
Another source says NBC has an incentive to cut Elliott loose, because he’s an expensive talent who hasn’t been producing much early into his four-year contract.
ABC denies that Elliot is returning to “GMA,” as does Elliott’s rep. We’re all good.” “Josh is under contract with NBC Sports, and the claim that either he or his agents have had any negotiations with NBC about leaving or with ABC about returning is categorically false,” said Elliott’s publicist Matt Hiltzik, adding that his client hadn’t met with the president of Disney/ABC Television Group.
“The rumor-mongering is ridiculous,” said a spokesperson for the network. “Josh and Ben Sherwood have not spoken or met since Josh left ABC.” A rep for NBC Sports declined to comment.
At NBC, Elliot had tethered his career to Jamie Horowitz, the onetime ESPN executive who came aboard to supervise “Today.” But Horowitz was pushed out in November just 10 weeks after beginning efforts to revamp the morning program.
Elliott had gone to NBC with the impression that he’d be the heir to either “Today’s” Matt Lauer or Bob Costas at NBC Sports.
Lauer signed a new contract in 2014, and Costas seems entrenched at NBC Sports.
Meanwhile, the current producing staff at “Today” isn’t using Elliott, in a bid to keep him separate from Lauer.
Elliott was part of the team that helped “GMA” topple “Today” from first place in the morning in 2012.