So much for smooth transitions. With little fanfare, NBC appointed Ann Curry, Today’s longtime newsreader to replace Meredith Vieira when Vieira stepped down as Matt Lauer’s co-anchor exactly a year ago.
Then reality set in. Curry was stiff and unnatural in the role, had no chemistry with Matt and showed little flair for either the human interest or hard news segments.
All that might have been overlooked. But the viewers started to turn away, and that NBC would not stand for.
The New York Times reported yesterday that the network has been working for weeks on a plan to replace Curry on the morning show and find a more suitable job for her in the news division. There is some urgency to this negotiation because NBC wants to have the Today situation resolved and the show running smoothly by the time Olympic coverage begins next month from London.
Curry is apparently not going gently. She has retained Washington attorney Robert Barnett to represent her in talks with NBC. Neither Curry nor Barnett nor any network executives have commented thusfar.
Early conjecture has Savannah Guthrie, who currently co-hosts the show's third hour, as the front runner to replace Curry at the big desk. A formal announcement is expected as soon as next week.
Curry’s fate was essentially sealed when Good Morning America beat Today in the ratings this spring, ending a remarkable string of 852 consecutive weeks as the queen of morning. The two programs have been swapping the top spot since.
What do you think? Is Curry responsible for Today’s decline or is she just a scapegoat?