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Journalist, television personality and author Joan London was on Good Morning America for nearly two decades, and was one of the most popular TV co-hosts.
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Joan Lunden was born September 19, 1950, in Fair Oaks, California. She was hired as a trainee for KCRA’s news department in 1973, but quickly rose up the ranks. By 1975, she was a weather person, reporter, and anchor for the station. That year, she took a job at WABC. In 1980, she joined Good Morning America as a host, where she would remain for nearly the next two decades.
Journalist, television personality, author. Born Joan Blunden on September 19, 1950, in Fair Oaks, California. On Good Morning America for nearly two decades, Joan Lunden was one of the most popular television co-hosts. Growing up in Sacramento, she lost her father, a surgeon, when she was only 13 years old. A pilot, he died when he crashed his plane.
Lunden started at the ground level in the news business. She was hired as a trainee for KCRA’s news department in 1973, but quickly rose up the ranks. By 1975, Lunden was a weather person, reporter, and anchor for the station. That year, she left her native California for New York City to take a job at WABC. An article in People magazine that Lunden was very inexperienced when she arrived and it showed in her reporting. “Her name was changed from Blunden to avoid being called ‘Blunder,’” the article stated. While it was not the smoothest transition, Lunden eventually found her way and even began contributing consumer reports to ABC’s national program, Good Morning America (GMA).
In 1980, Lunden joined GMA full-time as a host, with David Hartman serving the main host for the show. In an odd twist of fate, Lunden and her husband, producer Michael Krauss, were also expecting with their first child when she took the job at GMA. She helped break new ground by talking openly on air about her pregnancy and did many segments on parenting. For years, Lunden played second fiddle to Hartman who handled most of the serious news pieces. Despite sometimes being seen as merely an attractive sidekick, she was able to cover some major news events, such as Prince Charles’s wedding to Lady Diana in 1982 and the 1984 Winter Olympics. With her ever increasing popularity, Lunden eventually negotiated a better contract to be on more even footing with Hartman.
Despite a hectic schedule that usually involved getting to the studio extremely early in the morning, Lunden found time for other projects. She wrote her autobiography, I’m Joan Lunden, Good Morning, in 1986, in which she shared some of the challenges she faced as a female journalist. That same year, she tackled a subject she knew well—motherhood—in Joan Lunden’s Mothers Minutes, which was also the name of a special segment she did on television. Lunden followed up this title with an infant care book, Your Newborn Baby: Everything You Need to Know (1988).
After Hartman retired in 1987, Charles Gibson was brought on board as Lunden’s new co-host on GMA. The audience loved the pair and the show became the one to beat in the morning rating race against NBC’s The Today Show with Bryant Gumbel and Jane Pauley.
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