ESPN’s Tony Reali is joining ABC’s Good Morning America as a social media contributor. It’s part of a new multi-year extension of his deal with ESPN that calls for him to continue hosting the sports net’s Around the Horn, but from a Times Square studio. Reali will move from Washington, DC to New York later this year. GMA was looking to shore itself up on the sports front after news anchor Josh Elliott — a former ESPN-er — decamped to join NBC Sports. In addition to Reali, GMA is finalizing a deal for Michael Strahan, who spent 15 years playing for the New York Giants, to appear on the program about twice a week while continuing to co-host his popular daytime talker Live! With Kelly & Michael.
As a contributor to GMA, Reali will be charged with engaging fans, monitoring social media activity and highlighting trending topics. One month ago, GMA unveiled its #socialsquare — billed as the new social “nerve center” for the broadcast. More than one industry type noted NBC’s Today, which is in a ratings death match with GMA, had debuted its like-minded digital space, Orange Room, last September. But, of course, Orange Room is orange, whereas Social Square is pink, and blue — and has foosball. “If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, we are deeply and sincerely flattered — and not surprised given our ratings gains, specifically in younger viewers,” Today responded when GMA debuted #socialsquare.
Reali joined ESPN in 2000 as a writer-researcher for the quiz show Two Minute Drill. In 2004 he was named full-time host of the weekday afternoon panel discussion show Around The Horn. Since October 2001, Reali has also handled the omissions and errors portion of Pardon The Interruption, among other segments, alongside Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon.
Meanwhile, over at CBS Sunday Morning, they’ve hired NBC News’ Jane Pauley as a contributor. Pauley had been with NBC News for four decades, co-hosting Today for 13 years — spanning Tom Brokaw and Bryant Gumbel’s tenures on the program — and anchoring NBC newsmag Dateline for more than a decade; most recently she had been an infrequent Today contributor. “She is reinventing herself and is coming to work at CBS News,” CBS News’ Sunday Beltway show anchor Bob Schieffer announced during his annual Schieffer Symposium on the News at Texas Christian University in Fort Worthon Wednesday night. Pauley was there, touting her new book Your Life Calling: Reimagining The Rest Of Your Life.