*Robin Roberts and the rest of her “Good Morning America” colleagues in New York’s Times Square studios beamed via satellite into the TCA 2012 Summer Press Tour in Beverly Hills this morning – just as news broke of the show winning its fourth consecutive week among total viewers, and tying NBC’s dominant “Today” among adults 25-54 for the first time in 17 years.
As “GMA” continues it rise in the ratings, Roberts is preparing to take a leave of absence to deal with her latest health concern.
In June, the anchor revealed she is battling myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a disease of the blood and bone marrow that can be caused by chemotherapy and radiation, which Roberts received five years ago after her breast cancer diagnosis.
MDS treatment requires a bone marrow transplant. She’ll receive it from her sister, Sally-Ann Roberts, who was discovered to be a perfect match. Robin is currently undergoing chemotherapy to prepare for the surgery, after which she’ll take off from “GMA” for an extended period – “most likely the end of August, early September,” she said.
“It’s fascinating and, slash, scary how you prepare yourself for something like this,” said Roberts, who was seated on the “GMA” set alongside her co-workers George Stephanopolous, Josh Elliott, Lara Spencer, Sam Champion and executive producer Tom Cibrowski.
Below, Roberts and Cibrowski reveal ABC’s celebrity talent who will fill in for Roberts during her time away.
As she awaits her bone marrow transplant, Roberts says she has her good and bad days.
“I feel really good right now. But I do go through moments of fatigue; in fact, this is one of those days that I’m kind of a little more tired than I usually am. I’m getting myself ready for the bone marrow transplant that will take place. But I gotta tell you, being here and the run that we’ve had has truly energized me. It’s pretty good medicine, I gotta say, to be taking.
Meanwhile, Katie Couric appeared in person to talk about the format of her new afternoon talk show, “Katie,” which will broadcast live from New York, weekdays at 3 p.m. beginning Sept. 10.
“In terms of what the show is going to look like, it’s still a work in progress, but I think it will be, at times, single topic show,” she said. “And other times, it may be two topics in one show, sometimes even three.
“I think we’ll be talking about things as varied as the impact of technology on our relationships, on our children, sort of the best way to care for an aging parent. A quarter of the adult population in this country is now caring for an aging parent, and I think there are a lot of people who need guidance and help in that. It may be dating in your 40s and 50s; something that I can relate to. And so I think we’re going to be doing a wide variety of topics.
Couric said there will also be recurring franchises on the show, including a segment called “Women Who Should Be Famous,” spotlighting women who are doing extraordinary things with little fanfare,” and another called “YOLO,” which she says was inspired by rapper Drake.