USMagazine, Friday, August 24, 2012, 10:15am (PDT)
The morning-TV rivalry between Good Morning America and TODAY has long been an epic one -- with ABC's GMA finally overcoming NBC's longstanding smash in the ratings over the past year.
But that doesn't mean that GMA's Robin Roberts et al don't have love and sympathy for TODAY's Ann Curry, who was infamously fired as co-anchor on the show in June, with an emotional and awkward on-air goodbye.
Speaking Thursday night with CNN's Piers Morgan, Roberts (with GMA pals looking on) explained that, although the ratings war is intense, "we don't take joy in what [was] happening other places."
"You concentrate on your team, you don't concentrate on others," Roberts said of eyeing the competition. "But let me tell you, the morning that Ann [Curry] said her goodbye, we were watching. And on our program, which you don't see very often, we spent the last couple of minutes talking about Ann Curry...and appreciating her, and such great respect."
As TODAY fans know, Curry, 55, was replaced by Savannah Guthrie as co-anchor after just one year at the helm (and 15 years overall on the series). She sobbed during her on-air farewell, but took pains not to embrace co-anchor Matt Lauer, who one source told Us was "100 percent" behind her ouster.
Roberts, 51, meanwhile, has also had an emotional year. Five years after beating breast cancer, the GMA anchor revealed in June that she is battling myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a rare blood and bone marrow disorder, with a transplant scheduled for early September.