The Today Show wars: someone wants to get rid of Ann Curry. The stories being planted in the press are like mini assassinations. Ann Curry is not the reason for the erosion of ratings at the Today show. Here’s some facts: Ann Curry has nearly 1.2 million followers on Twitter. Matt Lauer has 144,000. Matt’s only sent out five Tweets of his own. And all of them were to support Justin Bieber’s appearance on the show. He actually told his followers to go out and buy Bieber’s album.
Curry’s Q rating is very high. “People love Ann,” says an observer, which is true. In Cannes this year, I had a long talk with Ann –who I don’t know very well– about the state of journalism today, celebrity, and the Today show. What I liked about her was her total candor. and her devotion to the show.
I got the feeling Curry would step aside if she thought she was harming the show’s ratings. She’s not. Several things factor into the ratings of the morning shows. One of those things is the prime time ratings of each network. Believe it or not, people start the day with the network they left the night before. Once upon a time, NBC was must see TV on Thursdays, a lot of “Law & Order,” and many 10pm hits. Then Jay Leno was put in the 10pm slot, and dramas were cancelled. It’s taken NBC eons to try and repair that damage.
Am I missing something here? Ann Curry is popular with the viewers. Before NBC makes a terrible mistake, they’d better stop and think about this. The viewers are already drifting toward “Good Morning America.” They’re sympathetic to Robin Roberts’ recent terrible health news. They don’t need an excuse to go. But tossing Ann Curry, in whom they’ve invested many years, could do the trick. If Matt Lauer were looking for the brave, smart, or chivalrous thing to do, he’d come to Curry’s support right now. He’d look like the hero of the day.