ABC's "Good Morning America" has always been a little snooty about the many trips outside New York taken by the "Today" crew in recent months, even as those trips seemed to figure in "Today's" ratings surge past GMA over the same period . . . Maybe especially since those trips seemed to figure in "Today's" ratings surge . . .
Well, shiver David Hartman's timbers, GMA has announced that David and Joan Lunden and Steve Fox and Denise Yamada and Joel Siegel are all flying off to the Italian and French Riviera the week of May 5 through 9 . . . just one week before Bryant Gumbel and Jane Pauley and Willard Scott and the rest of the "Today" gang set sail on their five-day cruise from Charleston, S.C., to Miami . . .
And that ain't all. The GMA crew will spend "Lady Liberty Week," June 30-July 4, on faraway Governors Island off Manhattan and they'll have remotes from one of the tall ships and from the QEII, which will be en route from France to New York to help in the Statue of Liberty celebrations . . .
And Joan Lunden will be in London July 21-23 to report on the Royal Wedding between Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson . . .
The Riviera journey will coincide with the Monaco Grand Prix auto race and the Cannes film festival. GMA will spend a day in Florence and in Portofino, two days in Monte Carlo and wind up in Nice . . .
Mild-mannered Steve Friedman, executive producer of the "Today" show, was a little snippy yesterday at the news of the GMA Journeys . . .
"Imitation is the sincerest form of thievery," said Friedman. "Wasn't this the same GMA that said it didn't travel just to travel? Wasn't it the same David Hartman who laughed at our trips? Is this the same GMA that couldn't afford to do anything?" . . .
"It takes us seven or eight months to prepare a trip, and now they're going to do it in eight weeks. And isn't it coincidental that it's happening one week before we go on our trip? We're perplexed here at the 'Today' show" . . .
"I assume there's a big story there," said Friedman, who suggested it was all those pretty girls in bikinis on Riviera beaches (honestly, Steve!) . . .
Friedman said "Today" would also cover the Royal Wedding . . .
A spokesman for GMA, meanwhile, said "the Riviera trip has been in the planning stage for months" . . .
Meanwhile, CBS News President Van Gordon Sauter says it could be two weeks before an executive producer for "CBS Morning News" is chosen to replace Johnathan Rodgers, who was recently promoted to vice president and general manager of WBBM, the CBS-owned station in Chicago . . .
And yes, former GMA executive producer Susan Winston is one of the names on the candidate list, although Sauter said CBS is looking hard within its own ranks . . .
Luncheon guests at Channel 9 today: retired CBS correspondent and commentator Eric Sevareid and his wife Suzanne St. Pierre, the prize-winning "60 Minutes" producer . . .
They'll join station executives to view a rare kinescope of the Feb. 10, 1954, ceremony marking the opening of Broadcast House at 40th and Brandywine . . . which technicians recently transferred to tape . . .
The 20-minute ceremony was broadcast live. Sevareid spoke eloquently of broadcasting and a free society at the dedication . . .
WTTG ran another of those telephone polls Tuesday night, this time asking viewers if they supported U.S. action against Libya . . .
More than 10,000 callers responded, 71 percent of them backing the U.S. action . . .
The good news: The recent nationwide Public Broadcasting Service "Festival '86" spring fund-raising drive brought in $36.1 million in pledges . . .
The bad news: PBS promises another one in August and another in December this year . . .
Advertisers and agencies were in Los Angeles recently to get a peek at some of the 80 pilots now in production for next season at the networks . . .
The three networks are expected to replace about 20 hours of shows currently on the air. ABC will probably bring in eight hours of new shows, CBS seven hours and NBC between four and six hours . . .
The situation comedy apparently will be king again next fall. The ratings success of, among others, "The Cosby Show" and "Who's the Boss?"; advertisers' preference for the women and children that sitcoms attract; and producer reluctance to make hour-long drama series, which don't do nearly as well in syndication as the cheaper sitcoms, are all factors pushing sitcoms to the fore. . .
According to Advertising Age, the sitcom pilots are a mix of spinoffs from series and new shows set around either working women or working couples . . .
Spinoffs are expected from "Kate & Allie," "Family Ties," "Webster," "Cheers" and "Gimme a Break" . . .
Gimme a break . . .