Former ‘GMA’ Anchor Charles Gibson Opens Up About His Favorite Guest on the Morning Show

Journalist Charles Gibson was a fixture on ABC from 1975 to 2009, at the helm of the network’s major news and morning show, Good Morning America and World News Tonight.

Journalist Charles Gibson
Journalist Charles Gibson | Donna Svennevik/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images VIA Getty Images

The 77-year-old reporter named one guest as his favorite on the popular program.

Gibson hosted ‘GMA’ for almost 20 years

Gibson had been hosting Good Morning America with Joan Lunden since 1987. When ratings began to drop, the powers-that-be at the ABC show replaced the team with two other anchors who strongly resembled Gibson and Lunden ten years earlier.

Charles Gibson, left, with Joan Lunden and Hillary Clinton on 'Good Morning America' , 1994
Charles Gibson, left, with Joan Lunden and Hillary Clinton on ‘Good Morning America’ , 1994 | Ida Mae Astute/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

The new anchor assignment did nothing for the ratings. In fact they continued toppling, and Gibson was called back in to the morning show by its producers, one imagines with hat in hand, to fix the predicament. They also offered a new co-anchor, established journalist Diane Sawyer, to sweeten the deal.

”Neither one really needs this in their career right now,” David Westin, the president of ABC News said in 1999 of Gibson and Sawyer. ”But Charlie is deeply committed to the Good Morning America franchise, and Diane is being a very loyal colleague and stepping up to help.”

Sawyer and Gibson were only supposed to be in their new arrangement temporarily, until permanent anchors could be hired. But, as it turned out, they hung in there for ten years, and were arguably one of the strongest morning show anchor teams on television.

He then hosted ‘World News Tonight’

After leaving Good Morning America in 2006, Gibson assumed the anchor seat at the network’s evening news desk, World News Tonight. By the time he left in 2009, it could be said accurately that the journalist was an institution at the network. In fact, his colleagues said just that as they congratulated him on his retirement.

Charles Gibson (right) and John McCain on ABC's 'World News Tonight', 2008
Charles Gibson (right) and John McCain on ABC’s ‘World News Tonight’, 2008 | Steve Nesius /Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

“I lucked into the best team game outside of sports,” Gibson said at the Lincoln Center ceremony in New York City marking his 35-year career in 2009. “You can’t forget how important it is what we do.”

“You get caught up in the competitive aspects, you get caught up on so many ephemeral things and you get worried about this and that, but in the bottom line, the most important thing, overall, is that what we do is important. . . I have loved every damn day of it.”

Gibson’s favorite ‘Good Morning America’ guest

If we started guessing who Gibson’s favorite GMA guest could possibly be, we’d have to think of all of the legendary journalist’s interviews with newsmakers such as Sarah Palin, Barack Obama, and foreign leaders.

Charles Gibson (right) and Kermit the Frog
Charles Gibson (right) and Kermit the Frog

The Illinois-born Gibson revealed his pick in a guest visit on GMA with Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos, and Michael Strahan in 2017.

“When I left, they asked me, of all the guests that you’ve had on the program, in the nineteen years of getting up early, they said of all the guests, you can have one back. Who would you like to have?”

“I said, ‘Kermit the Frog.’

Read more: Former ‘GMA’ Anchor Joan Lunden on Getting Kicked Off the Morning Show and the Realities of Aging