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Good Morning Texas getting another makeover

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Incoming Alanna Sarabia and outgoing Mike Castellucci.

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The latest shakeups at TEGNA8’s long-running. locally produced Good Morning Texas will send current co-host Mike Castellucci back to the news room full-time while importing Alanna Sarabia from San Antonio to join incumbent co-host Jane McGarry.

As previously posted, GMT personality Carrie McClure is leaving the show after four years. Her last day is Friday, April 29th.

Sarabia’s hiring, first reported by San Antonio Express-News TV critic Jeanne Jakle, will end her five-year stay with the city’s similarly formatted morning show, WOAI-TV’s San Antonio Living. The former Miss San Antonio 2009 and San Antonio Spurs Silver Dancer is scheduled to join GMT on May 23rd. Sarabia was born in Dallas, raised in Grand Prairie and is a graduate of Texas State University.

Sources at TEGNA8 tell unclebarky.com that Castellucci will be vacating his co-host spot and rejoining the station’s news team. The former early morning “Why Guy” left TEGNA8 for a five-year tour with San Diego’s KUSI-TV before returning to Dallas in the summer of 2013 to host GMT with McClure and Amy Vanderoef, who left in March of last year.

McGarry, the former longtime NBC5 news anchor, became a full-time GMT co-host in March 2015 after earlier contributing a series of “Texas Legends” reports.

GMT, which is produced independently of TEGNA8’s news department, has been on the air since September, 1994. Although its conventional daily ratings continue to be decidedly unexceptional in the 9 a.m. hour, the program cleans up revenue-wise by offering several paid five-minute segments per show. Sources say GMT clears a net profit of between $2 million and $3 million annually from these ”pay for play” mini-infomercials, in which guests tout their products and services to the co-hosts. GMT otherwise is usually beaten soundly in the daily Nielsen ratings by Fox4’s syndicated Live with Kelly & Michael and NBC’s third hour of Today. The locally produced program is more competitive with CBS’ competing double dose of Let’s Make A Deal, which it sometimes outdraws.

TEGNA8’s only reliably solid non-network ratings performer on weekday mornings and afternoons is the noon Midday local newscast, which usually win its time slot in total viewers in a hard-fought battle with CBS’ competing soap operas. But the station otherwise is in daytime ratings free fall, particularly with its syndicated 2 to 4 p.m. bloc of Fab Life (which is being canceled), The Insider and Inside Edition. All are being badly beaten by competing programming on Fox4, NBC5 and CBS11. TEGNA8’s 4 p.m. local newscast suffers as a result opposite homegrown news hours on NBC5 and CBS11.

There could be more intrigue coming on the mid-morning scene. The ABC network reportedly is strongly considering canceling The View and adding a third hour of Good Morning America after recently naming Michael Strahan as a full-time co-anchor of the program. That would push programs such as GMT and Live with Kelly (and Whoever) back to 10 a.m.

Live airs on ABC stations in a majority of TV markets and on all of the network’s owned-and-operated stations. But in Dallas, the show has long been the syndicated property of Fox4, which successfully airs it at 9 a.m. If GMA is expanded to run from 9 to 10 a.m., Kelly Ripa eventually would find herself competing for viewers opposite her old co-host, Strahan

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