Thursday, June 28, 2012

"Today" Looks Familiar

This morning turned out to be the final one for Ann Curry on the Today show.  I didn't know it would be until I saw a multitude of messages on Twitter announcing that she'd said farewell.  I was thinking of past Today female co-hosts and it struck me that...the majority of them seems to have a similar look.  There seems to be a look that NBC News loves.  Here's what I mean.  In my youth, when I started watching that morning news show regularly, there was Jane Pauley:
Jane was replaced by Deborah Norville.  In casting terms, sort of the same "type" in television appearance as Jane.
After her short stint, Deborah Norville was replaced in the Today female host spot by Katie Couric.
After Katie Couric, there was Meredith Viera.
If Woody Allen was casting a network news version of Hannah and Her Sisters for this year, he could consider three of those women to play the siblings.  This morning was the last day of morning duty for the woman who replaced Meredith Viera.  Quickly, we had to say goodbye to...Ann Curry.
She does not look like she'd be a "sister" to those other four.  Ann Curry looks more like a stepsister.  Early this week, I discovered that NBC executives were meeting "in secret" to replace Curry on Today.  I discovered this on Twitter.  Twitter's about as "in secret" as Sofia Vergara is flat-chested.  This was followed by Tweets that NBC may replace Curry with a young woman named Savannah Guthrie.  Here's a pic of Savannah:
Is hers a look that's familiar?  Back in New York City, I was approached to work on the popular WNYW morning news program, Good Day New York. I worked on that local show from October 1995 to late spring in 1999.  If I do say so myself, my work was good.  I broke entertainment items that got picked up nationally.  I wrote and performed some funny local liveshots.  I loved that gig.  But, for what became my last year, my contract had been renewed for less money and there were no more entertainment news or liveshot segments.  New management was in place.  I had to do other things, but I still had a job.  During my time on that show, whenever someone left the staff and moved on, there was always a "bon voyage, good luck" moment in the daily staff meeting for the departing person.  There was also always a cake.  Even interns who worked on the show for only six months were presented with a big cake of appreciation.  I watched the awkward, low-budget goodbye to Ann Curry in the last five minutes of this morning's 8 o'clock hour.  If there was a GE Playhouse production of The Color Purple,  I would've cast Ann Curry as Celie based on the way she was treated this week.  Whether or not she was a ratings  blockbuster, she put in 15 years of work on that show.  Unlike Meredith Viera and Katie Couric, Ann Curry didn't get a sentimental Today video highlights montage.  She didn't get a gift.  She didn't get flowers.  She didn't get a cake.  Hell, she didn't even get a Hallmark card signed by the staff.  She said a tearful, truly heartbroken  goodbye.  She got a hearty handshake, a couple of hugs and that was it.  Yesterday, I had no idea that today would be her final one on the show.  For whatever reason, Ann didn't get to finish out the week.  They couldn't have kept her for Friday?
After all those years of service, she didn't even get a cake.  The poor dear.  Maybe she had the wrong look for NBC News execs.  I know how she feels.  When my Good Day New York contract expired in 1999, I didn't get a cake either.  Even if the network didn't feel she had the skills and charisma of Katie or Meredith, Ann Curry deserved a better, more respectful network send-off.  Flowers would've been nice.  Conan O'Brien should book her as a guest and give her some laughs.  He knows how she feels too.


  1. Great article Bobby! I so agree with you, the show was painful to watch. They should have Hoda as the new co-host! But she does not fit their sisterhood script so time will tell. I will not be watching, its over to Robin and the gang for me!

  2. Yes, Bobby, this is spot on. I'm digesting as much Robin Roberts (real eye-, and brain-candy) as she'll give me until she has to take leave for her medical treatments. Then I will be going on a morning TV news sabbatical, retreating to all that's digitally fit to print: HuffPost, NYT, BBC, The Guardian, BobbyRivers' blog...

  3. Somehow, Carole Simpson and Monica Pearson are scratching their heads. Had it not been for the Dec. 8, 1972 plane crash, Michele Clark would have removed that beauty myth.


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