Dr. Marty Becker severs ties with ABC


Longtime Good Morning America contributor makes decision after 20/20 report critical of veterinarians.

A regular guest on Good Morning America and several other television shows, Marty Becker, DVM, told dvm360 today that he is ending his longtime relationship with ABC. This comes after Becker says producers of 20/20 misled him regarding an interview he gave for the show’s Nov. 22 segment, “Is Your Veterinarian Being Honest with You?” which suggested that practitioners push unnecessary vaccinations and procedures to build their bottom line.

“I will no longer work with the ABC network effective Nov. 27,” Becker says in his statement. “I’ve enjoyed the 17 years we worked together and made many lifelong friends along the way. I deeply appreciate all of the opportunities I had on Good Morning America to promote the things I love: pets, pet owners and my beloved profession. However, for a number of reasons, I have made the decision that it’s time I move on.”

Earlier this week Becker was still trying to decide if he wanted to continue working with ABC. He said friends encouraged him not to jeopardize the relationship that gave him a platform to talk about veterinary medicine. However, today that relationship came to an end. Senior producers involved with Friday’s 20/20 broadcast did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment.

Becker says he will continue to represent the veterinary profession in mainstream media. He is a contributor to The Dr. Oz Show on CBS, and he says he has interviews lined up with National Public Radio and other news outlets in the wake of the 20/20 report. He also remains a spokesperson for VetStreet, a pet owner education and communication website, as well as an associate at two veterinary hospitals in north Idaho.

“Thank you to the veterinary community that has supported me in my mission to educate pet owners, and to the millions of loyal viewers, many of whom I hear from via mail, e-mail or chance encounters in public,” Becker’s statement reads. “I most recently had a woman come up to me in a hotel in Iceland and say, ‘Aren’t you Dr. Becker, the veterinarian on Good Morning America?

“You’ll still find me on network TV in 2014 and beyond,” Becker concludes. “As they say, ‘Stay tuned!’”

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