The drama behind the scenes at ABC continues! After Diane Sawyer, Barbara Walters, Josh Elliot, and others announced retirement and departures, RadarOnline.com has learned that there’s tension between the anchors who remain: According to insiders, new Good Morning America co-host Michael Strahan is having “issues” connecting with his fellow morning show cast-mates.
“The decision to add Michael Strahan to the cast after Josh Elliot left just didn’t seem like a very good one from the beginning,” an insider explains. “Michael has made it clear that Live With Kelly & Michael is his first priority.”
“His schedule dictates that he can only be on GMA for essentially the first hour,” the source said. “Of course there are issues with Michael bonding with the cast.”
“Particularly, Lara Spencer views Michael as a threat,” according to the source. “She always does her excessive flirting with all of the men on the set, but Michael doesn’t seem to be warming up to her at all. The cast is deeply divided after Josh and Sam Champion left. The only glue holding it together is Robin Roberts.”
Just last week, the Disney-owned network announced that Sawyer would be leaving World News, and David Muir would be replacing her, with many wondering if she was forced out.
“It can’t be coincidental that Diane’s ‘retirement’ came so soon after Barbara’s,” an insider said. “Now, there’s buzz at the network that Diane was forced out. In addition, the recent high profile departures of veteran journalist Cynthia McFadden to NBC, and Katie Couric to Yahoo, leave the network slim in the high profile female anchors department.”
The network was also forced to suspend Jeffrey Schneider, Senior Vice President Of Communications for ABC, after getting into a verbal confrontation with a staffer.
“Jeffrey Schneider was indeed suspended after a verbal altercation with a staffer. It was a very bad situation,” a network source told RadarOnline.com, while declining to provide further details.
Now, there is “a ton of pressure on GMA to maintain the number one spot in the morning ratings race, and everyone is feeling it.”
“Amy Robach continues to isolate herself from the cast as well,” the source said. “Everything might look like they are one big happy family on television, but that is farthest thing from the truth.”
But an ABC spokesperson insisted, “The whole team including Lara could not be happier to have Michael here. Anyone who watches our #1 morning show can see the great chemistry between all the anchors. We love having Michael on the show.”