Today Show Ratings Continue To Fall, Media Continues To Blame The Women
1:30 pm, July 27th | by Amy Tennery
In the wake of Ann Curry’s departure, the Today show continues to fall in the ratings behind Good Morning America. But while one could attribute this decline in viewers to several factors, some members of the media continue to blame women involved in the show.
First, let’s back up: As we’re all acutely aware, Ann Curry served as something of a scapegoat for NBC’s faltering morning news program in recent weeks, prior to her unceremonious departure from the program. And the narrative at the time was particularly brutal to Curry: Today was falling in the ratings and everyone decided it was all her fault. But as bad as her performance might have been, nothing compared to the PR maelstrom that accompanied her departure.
First, there were the leaks leading up to Curry’s removal from the show, making her firing all the more painful (and making NBC look all the more incompetent). Then came NBC News President Steve Capus’ utterly callous and boneheaded statement on her job performance:
“We gave her a year to prove herself, and ultimately we came to the conclusion that she had played at the highest level she could…When you’re in the major leagues of our profession, you’ve got to continue to be at peak performance in order to stay there.”
Condescending? Check. Snarky? You bet. A ridiculously cruel thing to say about a correspondent who’s still working at your network? Oh yea.
Even golden boy Matt Lauer’s image became tarnished through this utter muck up, as rumors of a feud between him and Curry swirled. Today started looking less like the shiny, happy people and more like the Hunger Games.
Which brings us to a story from the Daily Mail today: “Crushing Blow For Savannah Guthrie As Today Show Ratings Continue To Fall Behind GMA After Ann Curry’s Departure.” “Crushing blow” — to a woman who’s been on the job less than a month? One would think it takes more than a handful of weeks for a major morning program co-anchor to hit her stride, let alone single-handedly rekindle her show’s faltering ratings.
And then there’s this headline from the AP a few days ago: “Today Show Ratings: Ann Curry Exit: Did Savannah Guthrie Cause Good Morning America To Take Lead?”
This is not to say that Curry and Guthrie don’t deserve any blame; maybe it is their fault the show is tanking. It’s anyone’s guess. But with the narrative here once again targeting a Today woman, one can’t help but wonder why other cogs in the NBC machine aren’t attracting more scrutiny — or maybe it’s just easier to blame the chick.