Does it matter that Good Morning America hired comic Steve Harvey as a reporter?
Ever since the Daily Show began topping critics and pollsters' lists as a trusted, admired source of news and commentary, TV outlets that ostensibly broadcast real news have been trying to find some way to tap that trend.
CNN hired comic D.L. Hughley to try a blend of Daily Show and Politically Incorrect that failed spectacularly. Former Daily Show contributor Mo Rocca has already made the circuitous trip from satire to reality -- reporting pieces for CBS Sunday Morning and soon anchoring a Webcast for CBSNews.com called The Tomorrow Show.
Now comes news that ABC has hired comic Steve Harvey to serve as an occasional contributor to Good Morning America, with an emphasis on relationship and parenting subjects; his first report airs Wednesday.
Harvey's qualifications: he's written a best-selling book on male/female relations, has a popular morning radio show and has created a foundation based on helping kids.
More cynical minds may note that morning newscasts such as GMA and Today have been filled with fluff almost since the dawn of television; adding a comic as a contributor probably won't alter that mix much.
Harvey was surprisingly compelling on Oprah Winfrey's talk show earlier this year dispensing relationship advice gleaned from his book, and his quick wit will likely ensure sharp, funny segments.
But it does seem odd that, as mainstream journalists struggle to boost their credibility and image with consumers, a major network morning show is bringing on an entertainer to provide feature reports for them. Consider how reporters laid off from ABC must feel, watching the news division find dollars to hire the star of Johnson Family Vacation in the middle of a serious media recession.
It may bring viewers short-term, but the long-term effects on how GMA is regarded may not be so successful.
Click below to read ABC's take on it all.
AUTHOR, COMEDIAN, ACTOR AND RADIO HOST, STEVE HARVEY, TO JOIN “GOOD MORNING AMERICA”
Steve Harvey, author, comedian, actor and host of “The Steve Harvey Morning Show”, has joined ABC’s “Good Morning America,” it was announced today by senior executive producer Jim Murphy. Harvey will bring “GMA” viewers a series of reports on topics ranging from relationships to parenting over the next few months. He will bring his own unique perspective, style and humor to morning television while interacting with viewers around the country via ABCNEWS.com, Skype and live guests in-studio. His first report is scheduled to air Wednesday, August 19.
Steve Harvey is an author, comedian, actor and radio host who has appeared in television and movies, including seven years starring on the WB’s “The Steve Harvey Show.” Harvey has also appeared in numerous movies, including “Don’t Trip…; “Johnson Family Vacation” and the animated film “Racing Stripes.” Harvey’s book “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man” was an instant hit with women across the country and landed the #1 spot on the New York Times Bestseller List for an impressive 26 weeks. Harvey’s radio show, “The Steve Harvey Morning Show,” is syndicated by Premiere Radio and heard in 60 markets around the country. Steve Harvey is also involved in helping young people and founded: The Steve Harvey Foundation. Harvey is a native of Cleveland, Ohio and currently resides in New York City.
ABC News’ “Good Morning America” is co-anchored by Diane Sawyer and Robin Roberts. Chris Cuomo is the news anchor and Sam Champion is the weather anchor. The Emmy-award winning morning program airs live Monday through Friday from 7:00am to 9:00am/EDT on the ABC Television Network. Jim Murphy is the senior executive producer and Tom Cibrowski is the executive producer of ABC News’ “Good Morning America.”