It was back in March 2014 that then-Good Morning America host Josh Elliott accepted an offer to jump to NBC Sports. Today, he’s off the team. “Josh and NBC Sports mutually decided to part ways,” an NBC spokesperson told Deadline, “and we wish him the best of luck in the future.”
Elliott was part of the GMA team that wrested the morning-show ratings crown away from Today after the NBC stalwart’s 16-year stranglehold on the No. 1 spot. Soon after that milestone was reached he was poached by NBC, and word at the time was that he was possibly being groomed to replace Matt Lauer at some point. Though he downplayed such talk at the time, calling NBC Sports his “dream job,” it continued to be the subject of infrequent speculation.
But Elliott’s hopes, whatever they were, of replacing Lauer on Today were stymied in part because of a 6-month noncompete clause in his contract with ABC, which prevented him from appearing on Good Morning America‘s competitor show. Further, on NBC Sports he was but one voice among many high profile commentators and personalities. As such, he was somewhat underused by NBC during his 19 month stint with the network, which may be why, according to some reports, that he began negotiating his exit from the peacock network several weeks ago.
While Elliott’s next move is not yet known, “I’m grateful for the chance to work with the remarkable team at NBC Sports, and appreciate their support as I look forward to what’s next,” he said in a statement provided to media. Industry speculation holds that Fox Sports is a likely bet, according to several reports. Former ESPN exec Jamie Horowitz, who now runs programming at Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2, enjoyed a brief stint at NBC in charge of Today, where he was known to support positioning Elliott as a replacement for Lauer. The two have worked together frequently — Elliott moved to ABC from ESPN in 2011.
Elliott took part in GMA‘s 40th anniversary celebration last month.
The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news.