NEW YORK -- When George Stephanopoulos returned to host ABC's "This Week" following the departure of Christiane Amanpour in late 2011, network staffers assumed his second tenure would only last through the 2012 election, or perhaps, as late as Inauguration Day.
That was the view among media watchers, too. The Daily Beast's Howard Kurtz suggested at the time that Stephanopoulos's arrangement at "This Week" may only be through 2012, while TV Newser's Alex Weprin wrote he'd "likely remain" on the Sunday public affairs show until the presidential inauguration in January 2013.
But as Obama's second inauguration nears, there are no signs that Stephanopoulos is ready to leave his perch on the influential public affairs show he hosts on Sundays, while continuing to co-host "Good Morning America" on weekdays.
"Both shows have momentum and he's enjoying what he's doing," an ABC News spokesman told The Huffington Post.
In September, ABC News hired a New York-based executive producer, signaling that the traditionally Beltway-centric show may be increasingly broadcast from the Big Apple. That would mean less of a commute for Stephanopoulos, thus making it a bit easier to continue with both shows.
Stephanopoulos, a former top Clinton White House official, became host of "This Week" in 2002 and remained until he was tapped for the GMA job in late 2009. ABC brass went beyond the Beltway, and their own network stable, in picking CNN foreign correspondent Christiane Amanpour to succeed him.
Two years later, Amanpour left "This Week" to once again focus on international affairs, both at ABC and as host of a new show on CNN International. While ABC staffers respected Amanpour's journalistic chops, some told The Huffington Post at the time that the traditionally D.C.-focused public affairs show was less frequently driving the political conversation.
Again, ABC didn't pull from the network's D.C. bench, which includes Jake Tapper, Terry Moran, Jonathan Karl and Martha Raddatz -- all of whom have guest-hosted the show. Instead, Stephanopoulos returned to his former role, while continuing duties at GMA.
While ABC executives never described Stephanopoulos' return as an interim position -- as NBC did in giving Tom Brokaw "Meet the Press" following Tim Russert's death in 2008 -- there was an assumption internally and outside the ABC newsroom that Stephanopoulos would similarly be steadying the ship through an election cycle before handing over the reins to someone else. Tapper, whose contract was reportedly up sometime after the election, has most often been mentioned as a successor.
On Sept. 2, "This Week" took the top spot in both total viewers and in the age 25-54 demo, a first for the Sunday show in over two years. In more recent weeks, however, the ABC program ranked third in total viewers, behind NBC's "Meet the Press" and CBS's "Face the Nation." Last week, ABC came in second in the demo.
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DIANE SAWYER, GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS
This photo released by ABC shows Diane Sawyer, left, and George Stephanopoulos during election night coverage early Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, from ABC News' Times Square Studios in New York. (AP Photo/ABC, Donna Svennevik)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 05: Journalist Christiane Amanpour poses for a photo during the premiere of 'In the Land of Blood and Honey' at the School of Visual Arts on December 5, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)
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DIANE SAWYER, ROBIN ROBERTS, SALLY-ANN ROBERTS
This image released by ABC shows host Robin Roberts, center, with her sister Sally-Ann Roberts, right and ABC News' Diane Sawyer on "Good Morning America" Monday, June 11, 2012, after Robin Roberts announced she has been diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome, a blood and bone marrow disease once known as preleukemia. She says she will undergo chemo and a bone marrow transplant this year as "pretreatment" for the disease, which she says she has known about for several weeks. She says her sister is a great match for her. While she says she'll miss a day here and there, she'll remain on the air. (AP Photo/ABC, Ida Mae Astute)
Drake University Hosts ABC News GOP Presidential Debate
DES MOINES, IA - DECEMBER 10: Moderators George Stephanopoulos and Diane Sawyer during the ABC News GOP Presidnetial debate on the campus of Drake University on December 10, 2011 in Des Moines, Iowa. Rivals were expected to target front runner Gingrich in the debate hosted by ABC News, Yahoo News, WOI-TV, The Des Moines Register and the Iowa GOP. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 18: Diane Sawyer (L) and Katie Couric attend Regis Philbin's Final Show of 'Live! with Regis & Kelly' at the Live with Regis & Kelly Studio on November 18, 2011 in New York, New York. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
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ROBIN ROBERTS, GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS
FILE - This Aug. 20, 2012 file photo released by ABC shows co-host Robin Roberts during a broadcast of "Good Morning America," in New York. Roberts underwent a bone marrow transplant earlier this month and recorded a message to fans from a hospital bed that she could "feel the love." ABC News' website encourages people to "follow Robin's journey." (AP Photo/ABC, Donna Svennevik, file)
SALLY-ANN ROBERTS, ROBIN ROBERTS, JOSH ELLIOTT, LARA SPENCER
This image released by ABC shows "Good Morning America" co-host Robin Roberts, right, speaking with a fan outside on the popular morning show on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012 in New York. Roberts has said goodbye to "Good Morning America," but only for a while. The "GMA" anchor made her final appearance Thursday before going on medical leave for a bone marrow transplant. Roberts' departure was first planned for Friday, but she chose to exit a day early to visit her ailing mother in Mississippi. In July she first disclosed that she has MDS, a blood and bone marrow disease. She will be hospitalized next week to prepare for the transplant. The donor will be her older sister, Sally-Ann Roberts. (AP Photo/ABC, Fred Lee)
George Stephanopoulos, Robin Roberts, Lara Spencer
"Good Morning America" anchors, from left, George Stephanopoulos, Robin Roberts and Lara Spencer attend the Be the Match bone marrow registry held at ABC News, on Tuesday, June 26, 2012 in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
This image released by ABC shows Lara Spencer , left, ABC News President Ben Sherwood, center, and George Stephanopoulos swabbing themselves at a bone marrow registry drive at ABC News headquarters in New York on Tuesday, June 26, 2012. The national bone marrow donation registry Be The Match reported Tuesday that the rate of new registrants has more than doubled since the "Good Morning America" anchor Robin Roberts announced on June 11 that she has MDS, a blood and bone marrow disease. (AP Photo/ABC, Lou Rocco)
This image released by American Broadcasting Companies shows Barbara Walters answering a phone to take donations for victims of Superstorm Sandy during "Good Morning America," Monday, Nov. 5, 2012 in New York. Walters made a contribution of $250,000 to the American Red Cross and GMA co-host George Stephanopoulos followed suit with a donation for $50,000. (AP Photo/American Broadcasting Companies, Lou Rocco)
This image released by American Broadcasting Companies shows, from left, ABC News' Chris Cuomo, actor Tony Danza, actor Andre Braugher, Barbara Walters, Cynthia McFadden and David Novarro manning phones to take donations for victims of Hurricane Sandy during "Good Morning America," Monday, Nov. 5, 2012 in New York. Walters made a contribution of $250,000 to the American Red Cross and GMA co-host George Stephanopoulos followed suit with a donation for $50,000.(AP Photo/American Broadcasting Companies, Lou Rocco)
CHRIS CHRISTIE, GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS
In this photo provided by ABC News New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie responds to questions by ABC's "This Week" host George Stephanopoulos at the ABC studio in New York Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012. Christie, who also appeared Sunday on another talk show, predicted that Romney will do "extraordinarily well" in the upcoming debate Wednesday night and that after that "this whole race is going to be turned upside down." (AP Photo/ABC News, Lou Rocco)
Josh Elliott, Katie Couric, George Stephanopoulos, Lara Spencer, Sam Champion
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NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 11: News anchor George Stephanopoulos attends the Hollywood Reporter celebration of 'The 35 Most Powerful People in Media' at the Four Season Grill Room on April 11, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)