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Good Morning America hosts mark bittersweet departure from the show in behind-the-scenes photo

GMA Weekends are hosted by Gio Benitez, Whit Johnson, and Janai Norman

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Ahad Sanwari
Ahad Sanwari - New York
Senior WriterNew York
8 October 2023
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Good Morning America's weekend hosts are bidding farewell to one of their own this Sunday, as Gio Benitez took to social media to reveal with a new photo.

The 37-year-old GMA Weekends anchor shared the news that their longtime showrunner, Shaun Francis, was leaving the team to take on an exciting new role with the ABC News network.

He posted a photograph from the farewell party for Shaun, posing alongside his cake with his co-anchor Janai Norman, meteorologist Somara Theodore, EP Simone Swink, and ABC News president Kim Godwin.

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Gio wrote: "A bittersweet morning at GMA Saturday and Sunday as our incredibly talented show-runner @shaunmtfrancis takes on an exciting new role at @abcnews. Congratulations, Shaun! (The missing piece of cake is Janai's, obviously)."

Sam Champion added an applause emoji, while FOX anchor Kenneth Moton commented: "Congrats to the incredible @shaunmtfrancis! (and obviously on the missing cake piece)."

Gio's husband Tommy DiDario added: "Happy trails!" while Somara joked: "Don't go, I need those time cues."

Good Morning America Weekends team hosts a farewell party for showrunner Shaun Francis© Instagram
Good Morning America Weekends team hosts a farewell party for showrunner Shaun Francis

The GMA Weekends line-up has settled into a consistent groove since this past May, when Gio was announced as a new co-anchor alongside Janai and Whit, taking over for Eva Pilgrim as she became co-anchor of GMA3: What You Need to Know.

Gio stated at the time: "I'm filled with so much gratitude and I can't help but think of my grandparents right now. They fled communist Cuba with nothing but the clothing on their backs and the small children who would become my parents. 

MORE: Gio Benitez reveals behind-the-scenes dilemma with co-star related to show – see message exchange

"The idea that I get to sit on the desk which quite literally bears the name of the country that gave them so much hope – well, that simply brings me to tears every time I think about it."

Gio Benitez with his GMA Weekend co-stars© Instagram
The hosts of GMA Weekends

Eva and DeMarco Morgan stepped into the GMA3 roles alongside Dr. Jennifer Ashton in the wake of Amy Robach and T.J. Holmes' departure from the show after their affair was made public.

MORE: Newest GMA anchor Somara Theodore's on-air prank leaves her co-hosts perplexed

Somara, meanwhile, joined the ABC News team in March, the newest addition to the meteorology team alongside Ginger Zee, Rob Marciano, and more.

Somara Theodore at the Today Plaza© Getty Images
Somara was previously a part of the NBC weather team

She was named the chief meteorologist for GMA Weekends when Rob announced that he would be taking a step back to focus on forecasts for the weekdays and other ABC platforms.

MORE: Rob Marciano delivers long-awaited news following decision to step away from GMA

Rob said in his own statement: "I always dreamed of working for this network as a kid, and my children are equally psyched that I will now be home most weekends! I'll continue doing what I'm doing, contributing across all ABC shows and platforms Mon-Fri, while getting more quality time with my kiddos on the weekends.

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(Walt Disney Television/Lorenzo Bevilaqua) 
ROB MARCIANO© Getty Images
ABC News meteorologist Rob Marciano

"My thanks to the bosses who listened and made this work-life balance possible. I'm also grateful for an exciting new project with NatGeo that has me exploring some very very cool stuff… more to come!"

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