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.