Will heads roll? Media execs anxiously await to see new Nielsen ratings to gauge how serious the decline at NBC is.
With Ann Curry no longer hosting as NBC’s co anchor at the Today show media pundits are now anxiously eyeing the latest batch of Nielsen ratings to see how bad things at NBC things really are at the beleaguered network.
With the release of last week’s ratings which showed ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’ with a handy 357 000 lead over NBC’s ‘The Today show’ (4.57 million viewers vs 4.21 million viewers) and the biggest lead in the last 17 years questions are starting to be asked whether the ouster of Ann Curry may have been a superficial move that has done little to reverse NBC’s steady viewership decline.
At stake this time isn’t Ann Curry’s job (that came and went) but more the fortunes of the network itself who must be silently seething at the less than stellar numbers, especially as they have since replaced Ms Curry with the show’s legal analyst Savannah Guthrie.
A buoyant return to numbers might put a stop to commentators who have decried the show’s glory days and may by osmosis bring back those viewers who have boycotted the show after Ms Curry’s ouster. On the other hand another less than stellar showing might lead to studio executives silently wondering if the trouble has more to do with their other co anchor, Matt Lauer who was recently signed on for a $25 million package or simply the fact that the dialectics for what counts as morning viewing is no longer easily understood as it once used to be.
For the time being, NBC executive Jim Bell is keeping a happy face for the public with his recently released statement that ”we are incredibly confident in the new `Today’ anchor team. Although it’s premature to look at one week of unofficial numbers and draw any conclusions, we just made a big change that we didn’t take lightly, and we are in this for the long run.”
That said the stoic disposition of studio heads may be about to reverse as more attention is sure to be called in the event that NBC falter at the ticket tape. Let’s hope Matt Lauer keeps a calm head as he wearily drinks his morning chamomile tea…