Friday, June 29, 2012

Yesterday's News

The morning television wars are interesting once again...

NBC announced yesterday that Ann Curry, is losing her Today co-host job after only one year.  I thought her promotion last year was a mistake.  While she has the hard news credentials, she doesn't have the perky warm fuzzies needed for network morning TV.

Curry will land on her feet.   She reportedly gets a lot of money to walk away from Today.  Plus, she stays at NBC and will contribute to a variety of broadcasts.

There are reportedly chemistry issues between Curry and co-host Matt Lauer.  I feel sorry for Curry.  It must be difficult having to relate to an empty suit for two hours every morning.

Here's where things defy analysis.  Today's ratings have slipped.  Good Morning America's ratings are up.  Both shows are trying to out fluff each other every morning.  I'm tempted to say the ratings decline isn't Curry's fault.  The Today format is a mess.  The first half hour used to be the gold standard for morning news.  It's now a tabloid featurey mess.  GMA has gone in the same direction, and has done well, so you can't say Today news junkies are turning to ABC because GMA is just as fluffy.

After watching Today several times, yes, Curry was likely miscast.  However, I think the problems are deeper than that.  Could viewers be tiring of Al Roker's overexposed smarmy act?

I thought Curry's farewell speech yesterday was a bit much.  On the other hand, I do respect her for dragging herself out there every day for the past couple weeks, knowing the sword was inches from her neck.

Curry was given only one year at the Today anchor desk, and that's wrong.  Chemistry can be instant, or it can develop over time.  There's a lot of money at stake in morning TV.  Those shows make tons of cash for the networks.  Apparently, NBC feels it can't afford to be patient with Lauer and Curry, and now you know how that movie ends.