AUSTIN, Texas—Good Morning America hosts Diane Sawyer and Charlie Gibson broadcast live from The University of Texas at Austin Monday morning during a break in rainy weather which, in the early morning hours, caused the broadcast site to be changed from the South Mall lawn to the front entrance portico of the Main Building.
Students arrived with raincoats and umbrellas several hours before dawn to claim a place toward the front of the audience area with hopes of shaking hands with the television hosts. The ABC broadcast began at about 6 a.m. Central Daylight Time and was seen live on the East Coast, where it was 7 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. ABC television audiences in the Austin area were able to start seeing a taped version of the program at 7 a.m. Central Daylight Time.
Sawyer and Gibson mingled with the students, signed autographs and tossed souvenir softballs to the crowd.
Special guests during the program included Texas Gov. George W. Bush, who was interviewed from the governor’s office, and Michael Dell, chief executive officer of Dell Computers, who appeared on campus. Dell, 34, was a student at UT Austin when he began his computer company, which has evolved into a multi-billion business. UT Austin President Larry R. Faulkner also made a brief appearance on the program.
The broadcast from UT Austin is part of the program’s Great American Gulf States Bus Tour. The program initially was to have been broadcast from a stage built on the South Mall lawn but overnight thunderstorms sent UT Austin physical plant employees and ABC technicians scrambling to move the production set out of the rain. The rain stopped shortly before Sawyer and Gibson began their broadcast, and the break in the weather lasted long enough for the two-hour broadcast to be completed.