“Good Morning America” anchor George Stephanopoulos announced on his show Thursday that he has set up a production company inside ABC News.
The new outfit, called George Stephanopoulos Productions, will produce nonfiction shows and movies for across ABC owner Disney’s portfolio, including ABC, streaming services Hulu, Disney+, and cable channels National Geographic and FX.
Stephanopoulos’ new firm was a bargaining chip for the anchor, who was threatening to quit earlier this year when colleague David Muir, anchor of “ABC World News Tonight,” was going to get promoted to the role of “chief anchor,” which would essentially mean he would be the go-to anchor for breaking and major news moments.
The title of chief anchor had been held by Stephanopoulos until then-ABC News president James Goldston told him the title was going to be retired. Little did Stephanopoulos know, the role of “chief anchor” was given only in spirit to Muir. Former Disney executive chairman Bob Iger had to salvage the situation and offered Stephanopoulos a larger opportunity producing.
The company has two documentaries in the works at Hulu, “Out of the Shadows” and “The Informant: Fear and Faith in the Heartland,” ABC News said.
“Out of the Shadows” profiles Christopher Steele, the former MI6 agent who was the author of the explosive “Steele dossier” about Donald Trump and Russia, which was written in 2016. It will debut on Hulu on Oct. 18. “The Informant,” which will premiere on Hulu on Nov. 1, is a documentary about the Oklahoma City bombing.
The notion of taking a producer role isn’t entirely new at ABC News. “GMA” co-anchor Robin Roberts has had her own production company at the network since 2014. Dubbed Rock’n Robin Productions, the company has produced programming for ABC, ESPN, Disney+ and Lifetime, among other outlets.
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