Every job has its politics, that clique the boss keeps around himself, those people in the PR department who keep dispersing criticisms of management, that new guy who was hired to give you a hand but has lately started telling you what to do. What a headache! But if you want to read about it, the same sort of stuff happens on TV networks, and New York Times reporter Brian Stelter has a new book, Top of the Morning, which focuses on the rating wars with news television in the mornings.
The lurid details include a description of how Ann Curry was ousted, not all at once, but slowly, through a process entitled “operation Bambi,” after her show, Today, began to lose ratings to its rival, Good Morning America.
She was in fact sacked in June, and soon after signed a contract with the network as an NBC News National and International Correspondent and also Today’s anchor-at-large. So it goes: you lose here, you gain there. Yet even this bit of ugly business politics, which we are all familiar with, makes for an interesting story.
“Ann Curry’s last few days at ‘Today’ were gut-wrenching,” says author Stelter. “I was watching outside from the window and I could see that Matt Lauer and Ann Curry would never speak to each other except when they had to on camera,” as detailed by ET News.
It’s a typical story at any corporation, but since it already relates to morning entertainment on the NBC morning show Today, we are getting the back-story of what we are already familiar with, and the tell-all book manages to carry our attention in such situations that are all-too-familiar to white-collar America.
The significant drama regards who was to co-anchor the show after Ann was ousted; Robin Roberts was to co-anchor with Matt Lauer at one point.
“It wasn’t obvious at the time, but Ann Curry was a dead woman walking,” said the author. “She was never really given a chance to co-host the show. She was being undermined the whole time.” So it goes. Whether or not morning news anchors will get justice is one thing, but their stories can definitely be entertaining.