It’s the split that keeps on lingering. NBC supposedly bounced Ann Curry from the co-host chair at Today due to declining ratings. But the ratings have continued to plummet since Curry’s departure and Good Morning America has overtaken Today as the number one morning network news show.
NY Magazine delved into how this all evolved and how it has continue to evolve long after the move to remove Curry.
The magazine reports that from the beginning, there were doubters Curry was right for the job. While Curry connected with audiences with the empathy she displayed for people she reported on, especially in overseas tragedies, this wouldn’t necessarily translate when Curry had to make small talk during the lifestyle and cooking segments that dominate Today’s 8 o’clock hour.
But even after they prepared to remove Curry from Today, NBC began to get research that it was really Lauer, and not Curry that was the problem on Today. Lauer was seen as aloof and pompous, according to sources citing network research. But Lauer began being courted by ABC to join Katie Couric on her new daytime talk show. Despite the research, NBC considered Lauer and not Curry as the reason for Today’s success. So NBC moved to resign Lauer. Once he signed a new two year contract with NBC, it was assumed Curry would be gone.
Sources say Lauer and Curry had no relationship when the two were off the air and when they were on the air, Lauer made minimal effort to make the pairing and chemistry work. Yet Lauer was aware that he could become the scapegoat once Curry left and actually encouraged NBC to delay Curry’s exit.
You can read a lot more about how this saga continued to develop behind the scenes in NY Magazine,