The big news today is that Ann Curry may be on her way out at “Today,” only a year after she became the co-host of NBC’s morning juggernaut.
Curry has been on “Today” for 17 years, acting principally as news anchor before assuming the coveted anchor chair beside Matt Lauer when Meredith Vieira exited the show last year. She’s also appeared across multiple NBC News properties, from anchoring “Dateline NBC” and filling in on the “NBC Nightly News” to acting as a major international news correspondent.
She has, however, encountered a number at obstacles at “Today.” Her talent as a serious news reporter has, ironically, been a point of criticism – she’s not easygoing enough to co-host a morning show, which requires a balance of both serious and silly – and some have even blamed her for “Today’s” faltering ratings. The show has long been the #1 show in morning television, but was beat in the ratings for several weeks this spring by “Good Morning America.” The two shows continue to be consistently neck-and-neck in the ratings.
Word is that Curry is in negotiations with the network to assume a different role within NBC News and has herself long been struggling with leaving “Today.” The top contenders to take the job after Curry are, reportedly, Savannah Guthrie and current news anchor Natalie Morales.
But is NBC making the right decision? Here in the MTV Newsroom, we are avid watchers of “Today,” so this morning there were plenty of opinions flying around. Below, three staffers sound off on Curry’s potential “Today” departure and whether she was really right for the co-hosting role in the first place.
Christina Garibaldi, Producer: After hearing the news that NBC is going to replace Ann Curry on the “Today” show, I have to admit, I really wasn’t very surprised. I have been watching “Today” for years, and ever since Ann took over for Meredith Vieira last June things just haven’t been the same.
After 17 years with the show, one would think Ann would easily make the transition from news desk to anchor, but unfortunately she never really found her stride. She has a hard time transitioning from serious news topics to lighthearted segments, her jokes mostly fall flat and her chemistry, or lack thereof, with Matt Lauer is painfully obvious. It seems that NBC has been slowly phasing her out, by having Meredith co-host the Diamond Jubilee and the upcoming Olympics, which means Ann’s days with “Today” are numbered.
So what does she do next? Ann should stick to what she is good at, delivering hard news stories. She has a flair for international reporting and can get the story out of any political official. We wish Ann the best if she is no longer with “Today” and if I could pick her replacement, I’m going with Hoda!
Uptin Saiidi, Digital Producer: You go through life thinking that if you’re smart and work hard, you’ll be successful. While Ann might not play up her sexuality and have layers of fluff ready for every segment, she has the most important trait: intelligence.
My fundamental problem with Ann departing would be that she brings a level of intellect to our morning shows that is hard to come by and has a breath of authenticity too often lost in today’s media. Ann wanted more spinach and less sugar on the show, but sadly it seems she couldn’t have her cake and eat it too. While I’m a big fan of Savannah’s versatility, I’m hesitant to see her snag the anchor spot at Ann’s expense. In the end though, I know Ann will move on to a role better suited for her and bring a method of storytelling that has the spinach that she knows and loves.
Rebecca Thomas, Deputy Managing Editor: Ann Curry underscores what happens when the indefinable quality we call “chemistry” is lacking. While the NBC vet was capable as news reader, her pairing with the incomparable Matt Lauer has been painful to watch. I can only see this move as a relief for her – and for us, the audience.
Rya Backer, Producer: As a lifelong “Today” obsessive, Ann Curry and I had a good thing going when she read the news. I loved her stern, yet compassionate delivery – she hit all the right notes, and it was the perfect job for her. She brought a sense of gravitas to a show that can sometimes by its own admission be a little too… lighthearted at times. If I may just go off on one tangent about this: seriously, “Today,” if I see one more segment about “shopping your closet,” I’m going to do something crazy.
Meredith was a tough act to follow, and those very assets that I so appreciated about Ann’s on-air presence couldn’t translate into the bubbly, easygoing woman at the helm that the show needs. Nor was she going to change – when she tried, it looked tried. But when she got to do the work she was passionate about (interviewing world leaders, reporting on hard news), she was incomparable. So I wish Ann the very best of luck, and I wish even more luck to whoever fills the position… because, clearly, a lot of people will be watching.
What do you think of Ann curry’s potential “today” departure? Let us know in the comments below!