A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Except at NBC….
The macabre game being played out between NBC insiders and one of its stars, Ann Curry came to a head yesterday with the lauded journalist accepting personal responsibility for the latest surrender in ratings points and her effective dismissal. For a while the game was being played behind closed doors before various leaks (obviously by design to begin the public humiliation of Ms Curry and her eventual capitulation) escalated the tenure of the game and essentially put all of the network’s dirty laundry out for open display.
Effectively the show’s producers wanted someone’s blood as it came to a head that ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’ had finally beaten them in the morning slot and that the licking had happened just about when Ann Curry had joined as the show’s co anchor, something that co anchor and long time stalwart was privately chaffing about and now regretting.
Yet now that Ms Curry has been relieved and ungraciously dumped the $64 million dollar question is what will happen to the show now? Of course that is contingent who gets to replace Ms Curry (Savannah Guthrie is widely rumored to be the go to choice) and how the show will fare when it takes itself to London next month in lieu of the Olympic games where it hopes by then the sobbing for Ann Curry would have dried out and everyone gets back to loving the charades on calamari dishes with a twist and what makes Matt Lauer smile when he’s drinking tea.
It could all work out once the switch takes over or it just may not. One thing though is for sure, with all the pandemonium in recent weeks, viewership at the show has swiftly rebounded, but that may be because for once there was some real meat and drama in the program which suggests the programming and yes maybe the guidance viz Comcast (NBC’s new owners) has been somewhat aloof, infantile and simply not getting it. Then again for those who decry the frivolity of the show and it’s increasing tabloid nature (yes welcome to new media where even serious and well regarded news outlets are forced to run smut stories to keep your readership) there are those like Ms Curry who may wish and excel in serious news. Except that would be fine if Americans in general were open to serious news at 7am in the morning. Or it just could be a general fatigue, overkill or the fact that with the internet and off line media rampant the dialectics in the media world are hardly for those with frayed nerves.
That said, I took the liberty of collecting some comments (see below) from other journals pursuant to yesterday’s hubris and perhaps by gleaming at some of the wider readership out there one can glean whether NBC are on the way down the toilet or back to stellar heights?
Jenifer Stevens, My company is a private International sales, marketing and media company consultant to Fortune 500 companies.
We called for this move months ago as NBC sat on the sidelines doing nothing. Finally they acted and it should just be the start. Next they have to rebuild Meet The Press as David Gregory has squandered what Tim Russert built up. Katie was pure class in her response above and she knows from the other side of the coin. Even though it was way before my time our research shows when NBC replaced Deborah Norville with Katie ratings climbed. She’s also right about the direction morning shows should take.
One thing the TODAY show needs are new sets….why the uncomfortable stools and confusing backdrops. And why interview 5 Spyderman Cast members by 4 TODAY SHOW cast members all standing in a single line in the street? Lets work on some production values.. Still we are advising our clients to invest in TODAY spots again. The ratings increase will make it a great value going forward.
This is ghastly treatment of a woman with a huge heart and a great spirit and unending generosity toward everyone, even would-be enemies. My family owns GE stock and I have already written to the President of NBC to express my extreme distaste for his shifty and delusional belief that Ann is as dispensible as a used Kleenex. Shame on NBC. Shame on Matt Lauer for not going to bat for Ann. If only audience members were consulted before these terrible decisions are made; then the ridiculous Bob Greenblatt’s of the business would be ignored instead of revered. You are world-class, top-drawer quality, dear Ann, and you should feel so proud of the gifts you have shared with your millions of fans. God bless……and march right over to GMA with your middle finger directed at NBC.
Why does NBC suck when it comes to handling high-profile personnel matters?
Remember Arthur “Scud Stud” Kent? When he declined to go back into dangerous war zones after a few close calls, NBC gave its most recognizable foreign correspondent in decades the steel-tip boot on his kazoo.
Remember Jane Pauley on Today? They brought in the hot-blonde-of-the-moment in Deborah Norville. Pauley remains a broadcast icon. Norville, meanwhile, now hosts…. Inside Edition. Nuff said!
Remember Stone “Square Jaw” Phillips of Dateline NBC fame? The Peacock canned him so silently, so assiduously, it seemed as if he was forced into Witness Protection or something.
Of course, there’s Conan, and the whole Tonight Show/ Leno fiasco of legend.
And yes, you could add to the network’s inglorious run the recent messy mess involving the 86-ing of showrunner Dan Harmon of “Community”….
And now Ann Curry.
What a %^@!&%-up network.
NBC just lost all their integrity in most people’s eyes doing this to Ann Curry. You just lost credibility folks. Never will watch again, moving on to a different station totally. Very sad
TODAY’s ratings have slipped, not because of Ann Curry, but because they have become nothing more than a “tabloid” talk show. The Agenda is the biggest problem. Ann Curry was the epitomy of grace, elegance, guts and compassion. The TODAY producers just don’t have a clue what people want to see and hear anymore. I have been watching since Dave Garroway began the show years ago and will now find another network to watch in the morning.
Can you imagine a man crying like that…terrible….she should have just left and said nothing…..don’t eat the cake Ann…this is what happens when NBC merges with Comcast…horrible programming…so much kissing up, how can anyone watch this….just horrible decision on NBC’s behalf. NBC should get Britney Spears to host….I’m sure Britney could relate to all the eggheads at NBC.
So it continues — the bad management at NBC is legendary, and if you sign on as on-camera talent over there be prepared for that day when you’re tossed out with the garbage with no respect or thanks for whatever you may have accomplished during your tenure there.
They did it to Carson twenty years ago, and it continues through the most recent Conan-Leno fiasco and today’s sad departure of Ann Curry…who will probably emerge looking better for it in the end.
Perhaps this is all continued bad karma that began when they cancelled the original STAR TREK in the 60s…and you can be sure they’ll find a scapegoat for their
upcoming loses from Olympics coverage.
Thank God for DVDs and HBO.
I agree. Ann Curry *WON* and she will be doing what she wants to do: international and domestic field reporting. She excels at that. She never fit in the lineup of shallow ass hosts, and NBC really can’t fault her for the Today show’s sagging ratings when the show has been in a freefall since Katie Couric left. And, why isn’t anyone addressing the real issue: Matt Lauer? I mean, damn, he’s the common link behind why all three of them left the show. And yes, the above article is right..if the ratings continue to slip, Lauer can’t blame anyone else…as for Savannah Guthrie, meh. I do feel for her though, Meredith is back? Oh, Savannah is *TOTALLY* in the shadows.
Ann Curry is a genuine person who had a personal connection with her viewers. Matt Lauer is a fake and thinks he is so much better than his viewers. I for one say goodbye to Ann and the Today show. We miss miss Ann and wish her the best.
I think it is Matt Lauer who causing a drop in the ratings.
I think Matt Lauer is a real SNAKE
this video gags me. same old melodrama from her. thank God she’s gone
and my personal favorite this one below:
Why does anybody care about some reporter leaving a meaningless morning show? First world problems.