Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Today' host Ann Curry takes hit, counts tomorrows

Ann Curry — Tuesday morning, Ann Curry got thumped by a "Today" TV camera.

It happened during a crowd-panning arrangement out on Rockefeller Plaza: Curry's face collided (or appeared to) with the camera lens on reside TV.

Matt Lauer alien her as "old flat-nose Ann Curry," in a acceptable advertence to a appearance in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," as everybody aggregate a beam at her expense.

Still, this abuse was baby potatoes for the wakeup host, who has faced down months of belief that she hasn't pulled her weight in the morning-show ratings war.

But if shrinking ratings for "Today" assume to be arch Curry into the sunset, the accountability may not lie in her achievement as abundant as in the attributes of the war she was drafted to fight.

Curry, who was broke to sit alongside Lauer if Meredith Vieira larboard NBC's "Today" endure June, is reportedly about to pay the amount for the improvement of ABC's "Good Morning America," which afresh airtight the acceptable ratings band "Today" had reveled in for added than 16 years.

Curry is about admired as a solid journalist, with a affection for all-embracing reporting, as able-bodied as a acceptable soldier: Starting at "Today" as its account clairvoyant in 1997, she stood by patiently in 2006 as Katie Couric larboard for CBS and Vieira, not she, won the asset co-anchor job.

An accessible awning adventure in Ladies' Home Journal annual (which arrives on newsstands in a brace of weeks and may serve as her abrupt eulogy) finds Curry adage blue-blooded things like, "I apperceive NBC pays my bacon but I accept never doubted who I plan for ... the humans who watch" and "I wish to accept a activity of value. For me, that agency giving humans advice that can accord them a bigger life."

"I accept a absolute faculty of account if it comes to this job," she told The Associated Press—"taking affliction of the eyewitness and allowance them accept advice that I anticipate they should apperceive and wish to know."

But all this raises a bigger question: Has Curry anytime taken a acceptable attending at the appearance she's such a big allotment of?
With an about committed focus on celebrity, crime, aspersion and soft-serve news-you-can-use (plus music performances, of course), "Today" a lot of canicule has alone a casual affinity to an absolute account program.

As an adorning contrast, "CBS This Morning" stands as the morning affairs that presents a circadian amalgamation of account and advice that any cerebration eyewitness "should apperceive and wish to know," in Curry's words.

Granted, its admirers trails those of "Today" and "GMA," the Coke and Pepsi of an altogether altered artefact category, characterized by abandoned calories and a lot of fizz.
But boner has disqualified in morning TV for decades, as a absolute moment for a Curry antecedent reminds us.

His conclusion: nothing. Within months, he had anchored from his five-year break at "Today" for the ballast armchair of "NBC Nightly News."

But this array of wake-up alarm and a absolute acknowledgment to it is rare.

Matt Lauer, the acknowledged active force of "Today" in his 16th year as its anchor, can handle accepted account as able-bodied as anyone on TV. But adored at "Today," he aswell seems bold for any address of piffle.

In May, he was saddled with interviewing reality-stars mom-manager Kris Jenner, there to bung the new division of "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" on NBC sister approach E!.

Jenner was coy about spilling any absolute data of the accessible division (her purpose was to aggravate "Today" viewers, not acquaint them), and Lauer played along.

"I'm gonna be so appreciative of this account at some approaching date," he said, angled his duke that he has standards. But it was all in acceptable fun as he joked that "this is a resume band cat-and-mouse to happen."

Make no mistake: "Today" is a huge, profitable, able enterprise, which may accept helped Curry anticipate that what she does there automatically has value. And now she understandably may admiration how she failed.

Hasn't she done aggregate asked of her? So far this week, she has interviewed both leads of "The Amazing Spider-Man," handled a affable segment, debriefed a show-biz announcer for a articulation alleged "What's Up: Celebrity," and pitched in for her program's day-after-day advantage of afraid bus adviser Karen Klein—on Tuesday, Curry accustomed the Greece, N.Y., grandmother to Studio 1A.

Besides, how do you admeasurement Curry's circadian achievement if morning ratings are skewed by an ever-escalating accoutrements chase of stunting amid "Today" and "GMA," where, in the aboriginal two hours if they go head-to-head, no gimmick is absolved and no castigating bang is too abandoned (witness Sarah Palin snagged as a "Today" bedfellow host in May to edgeless the advancing admirers fasten if Katie Couric guest-hosted on "GMA").

Never mind. "Today" has stumbled. Curry allegedly will yield the fall.

Already, a academic bold is beneath way for who will alter her. Savannah Guthrie, who co-hosts the four-hour extravaganza's third hour, is assertive at the top of the account of Curry's accessible replacements.

But beware: A quarter-century ago, Deborah Norville was alveolate to the ballast board beside Bryant Gumbel, which larboard admirers cerebration she had pushed out the admired Jane Pauley. This led to a backfire from her affectionate fans, with "GMA" the ratings beneficiary. Little added than a year later, Norville was gone.

Now, with "GMA" already trading account wins with "Today" afterwards its 852-consecutive-week supremacy, afterward Curry as "Today" co-host may not be such a asset assignment.

As for Curry, whose sometimes austere advertisement is calmly absent in her show's cutting foolishness, a abandonment from "Today" ability in fact be fitting. If she's absolutely a austere journalist—or believes she is, at least—she's in the amiss place.