With the end of the week since Savannah Guthrie replaced Ann Curry as NBC’s ‘Today show‘ co host, NBC executives despite more bad news in the ratings front (see below) are staying committed to their new line up.
Vowed executive producer Jim Bell: “We couldn’t be happier with the new Today anchor team, and the fresh new feel of the show,” he said in a statement. “It’s impossible to draw conclusions after a few days of unofficial ratings. We just made a big change that we didn’t take lightly, and we are in this for the long-run.”
Of course what Mr Bell has to say holds merit but one should bear in mind that the trend since Ms Curry was forced out has only continued to go against NBC, something that ought to be worrying executives who are now hoping hype a cosmetic change of scenery to London will somehow erase the feeling of bad blood between viewers and the current crew, of which many viewers hold Matt Lauer solely responsible for bullyingMs Curry off the show.
Since Ms Curry’s ouster the network has seen a steady parade taking to the web and openly criticizing NBC’s decision to replace the “most genuine” character on the show, accordingly, and criticize even more the way the network handled her last day on set. Viewers have now even begun to pile on as to why they will never return to NBC paradoxically influencing other viewers to boycott what many perceive to be the ‘belligerent’ network.
Not helping NBC were the release of Nielsen prelims, with ABC’s Wednesday’s margin win of more than 580,000 viewers the biggest yet (roughly 4.4 million to 3.8 million) disconcerting for an outlet that for the last 17 years has been used to holding the top slot.
For the week through Wednesday, ABC’s “GMA” was comfortably ahead (4.38 million to 4.02 million). “GMA” is also leading the week in the key news demo of adults 25-54 (albeit by a slim 38,000-viewer margin), pulling ahead in a category that “Today” has consistently won — even during the ABC show’s recent surge.
The upcoming week will interesting to watch and see if whether viewers have settled down or whether a more systemic shift in media dialectics has now set forth.
Let’s hope Matt Lauer has some ‘fun’ anecdotes to entertain us with as the new week rolls in…