Articles about "Today Show"


Lauer in March. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

In defense of Matt Lauer: ‘Today’ will be hurt if he leaves

For me, reports of a phone call to CNN anchor Anderson Cooper about taking Matt Lauer’s place on NBC’s “Today” show were the last, silly straw.

Lauer in March. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Much as I respect Cooper (and his ability to vault from trading quips with Kathy Griffin on New Year’s Eve to covering natural disasters overseas), the notion that he might replace Lauer seemed to defy logic.

Cooper’s syndicated daytime show was canceled due to disappointing ratings and his well-regarded prime time CNN show “Anderson Cooper 360″ still struggles against Fox News Channel star Bill O’Reilly and whoever may be hosting MSNBC’s 8 p.m. hour (Chris Hayes, as of Monday).

Troubled as Lauer may be, he is still the biggest star on a program that’s earned about six times the viewers Cooper generated at 8 p.m. on CNN in February sweeps. So why would Cooper be a logical successor? Read more

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Matt Lauer

‘Today Show’ narrative grows more complicated with New York Magazine piece

If this is one of the first steps in rehabbing “Today Show” star Matt Lauer’s image, he’s in for a long, tough road ahead.

That’s the thought I had after reading New York magazine’s detailed look at the Today show, featuring an exhaustive account of the machinations behind the awkward, embarrassing replacement of former co-anchor Ann Curry last year and a tough assessment of how it may have affected Lauer’s future fortunes.

Featuring a group interview with the program’s four top anchors and lots of information gathered from unnamed sources, reporter Joe Hagan paints an account filled with telling details, sharp observations and money quotes.

“They were incredibly lucky to have stabbed in the back somebody who wasn’t in the least vindictive and had the interest of the Today show at heart,” said Pulitzer-winning New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, described as a close friend of Curry’s, in the story. “Everybody at NBC, everybody at the Today show, everybody understood that Ann was kicked out of her position because Matt didn’t want her there,” said an unnamed “prominent NBC staffer.” Read more

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‘Today’ show’s executive producer takes responsibility for Ann Curry’s departure

The New York TimesThe Hollywood ReporterRadar Online The New York PostThe New York Daily News
It’s been three months since Ann Curry was forced to leave NBC’s “Today” show, but the network is still dealing with the fallout.

The show’s executive producer, Jim Bell, appears to be on a mission to repair damage done to the show and its current host, Matt Lauer, after Curry’s messy departure. In recent days, Bell has granted interviews with The New York Times and The Hollywood Reporter, and Curry has been the main topic of conversation.

In the interviews, Bell continues to defend the decision to replace Curry with Savannah Guthrie, and he repeatedly denies rumors that Lauer had made firing Curry a condition of his contract renewal.

“It was definitely not Matt’s call,” Bell told the Times’ Bill Carter. “He is the host and does not have management responsibility. Read more

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NBC, MSNBC 9/11 anniversary broadcasts stir emotions and controversy

Today is, of course, the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. It was the biggest news event of a generation, but particularly iconic for television news.

MSNBC re-airs the original Today Show coverage of 9/11.
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Matt Lauer, Ann Curry

How race factors into the conversation about Ann Curry’s possible ouster from ‘Today’ Show

This week’s news of Ann Curry’s problems as co-host of NBC’s “Today” show makes my mind reel and my heart ache.

It makes my heart ache because, as the son of Asian immigrants, I’ve felt an instinctive pride as I’ve watched Curry’s slow and steady climb up to one of network news’ most high-profile jobs.

Finally, on morning TV, I could find someone who looked like me. I identified with her. I was inspired by her.

Now she is faltering and may even be forced out because of a decline in ratings.

No doubt, many factors lie behind the “Today” show’s drop in viewers. It now runs neck-and-neck with ABC’s “Good Morning America.” But some executives fault Curry, because the collapse has occurred in the year since she became co-host after replacing Meredith Vieira.

The news makes my mind reel, because Curry’s lack of rapport with Matt Lauer and the “Today” show family — real or perceived — and her possible ouster may have something to do with her race, cultural background and upbringing. Read more

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Ann Curry, left, and Meredith Vieira appear during a segment of the NBC "Today" television program, in New York's Rockefeller Center, Friday, May 27, 2011. (Richard Drew/AP)

Today’s Vieira-Curry handoff reminds newsroom leaders: Bench strength matters

Here’s a safe prediction: the departure of Meredith Vieira from the Today Show won’t put a dent in the program’s robust ratings. Ann Curry will slide into the co-anchor chair in a seamless transition and viewers will stay loyal to the team.

“Team” is the operative word. NBC management has positioned the program as an ensemble company, not dependent on the drawing power of only one or two individuals. In another key move, the network, which bypassed Curry when hiring Vieira five years ago, worked with Curry to give her high-profile assignments that mattered to her and to viewers.

As David Bauder of the AP reported:

How Curry responded when Vieira was brought in over Curry in 2006 to replace Katie Couric likely played a large part in her getting the job this time.

She didn’t leave. She didn’t sulk or back-stab. Curry, 54, instead created a niche for herself with international reporting, often on tough, unpleasant stories that aren’t mainstays at American television networks.

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