No Curry-ing Favor on “Today”
Posted by JasMollica
I didn’t use to be an Ann Curry fan. When I worked in Philadelphia, I was a multimedia producer for WCAU-TV’s MSNBC on the Internet operation. Ms. Curry was an anchor on MSNBC at the time and I saw her on-air often. She seemed too dramatic.
It took me leaving Philly and after five years in NYC (with Fox News Channel/Fox News Radio) to actually watch Ann Curry again. She seemed different to me; seamlessly transitioning from a celeb interview to a serious story. Ann Curry had “it;” a rare combination of smarts, style, and substance.
When Meredith Viera left the Today Show last year, Ms. Curry was named the new co-anchor, alongside stalwart Matt Lauer. It was a solid move… or was it? Fast forward to 2012. A story by Brian Stelter in the New York Times on June 20, reported that the Peacock Network was prepared to fire Ann Curry. I was baffled. The Today Show ratings have slipped a bit (ABC’s “Good Morning America” is gaining a ton of ground) and it appears that NBC needs a scapegoat. They pointed the finger of blame at Curry.
It’s not that firings in the media are all that shocking. Keith Olbermann has been canned more times that I can count. Dan Rather was (technically) fired, too. But it the way that NBC News is handling this situation is a) wrong and b) a public relations faux paux.
Curry is known for her international reporting of major stories from places such as Baghdad, Sri Lanka, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Albania, and Darfur. Needless to say, she has faced harsher times than what NBC is doing to her. As of this posting, the network hasn’t even commented on the speculation, leaving Curry to face questions as to her future. It’s a total lack of respect for a woman who has not only worked extremely hard, but who has shown class and grace.
From a public relations standpoint, NBC is taking a big hit. The media is already speculating who will take Ms. Curry’s place. The move is a bad one, but not something NBC seems to care about. They basically did the same thing with Conan O’Brien in 2010. Secondly, NBC hasn’t said word one about this report, let alone whether Ms. Curry is actually being fired or re-assigned.
Morning television is a big business. But that doesn’t mean that when business gets slow, you remove a piece. NBC should be finding ways to make the Today Show better. Leaving Ann Curry to wave in the breeze like a tattered flag isn’t good business… or good for ratings.
Posted on June 26, 2012, in Hot Topic, Public Relations, Uncategorized and tagged ABC News, Ann Curry, entertainment, Fox News Channel, Fox News Radio, Good Morning America, journalism, MSNBC, NBC News, New York Times, Public Relations, ratings, television, Today Show. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.