The thing about Kathie Lee Gifford doing “something nice” for you is that it’s the worst possible thing that could ever happen to you. It’s like a person with bright red paint on their shoes breaking in through a plate glass window to sweep your kitchen floor. It’s like a monster truck giving you a surprise haircut while you sleep.
New York magazine's lengthy dissection of the ultimate first-world problem that is morning-news drama is a good read, if you're into media navelgazing. Covering Matt Lauer's role as the villain in Ann Curry's unsentimental firing from the Today Show, and the Today Show's subsequent fall from grace, the piece contains a lot of interesting information that helps shed darkness on the sometimes frustratingly bouncy world of morning news programs.
It's been almost a full day since Brian Stelter was finally granted permission by his NBC media relations sources to hit send on a story most TV news reporters knew about months ago. It seems that Curry's departure was a welcome one, as most of the Today Show's Nielsen families celebrated with raucous Ally McBeal baby-dancing in their living rooms once it became officially official in America's paper of record.
Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts goes on vacation next week and ABC/Disney has decided to trot out former Today Show queen Katie Couric to fill her slot. With all the rumored upheaval and turmoil at NBC's once untouchable morning program, some sources say this is a diabolical decision by an executive Disney goon squad done to further taunt Today and its flat ratings. The more reasonable assumption is that ABC/Disney will get a good sense of if Couric still has enough bubble-headed charisma to connect with morning audiences since her own talk show is set to premiere on ABC in September. A little early for pre-buzz, though, right?
Since she replaced Meredith Viera as co-host of the Today Show last June, Ann Curry hasn't exactly impressed. "Hopeless," a source close to NBC executives said to describe her co-hosting abilities. "Atrocious," said another. "Strained."
You know it's mid-August when a man walking past Ann Curry's empty Upper West Side townhouse is newsworthy. That, or we're talking about the New York Post. On Saturday, the Post reported that a "hobo" had been squatting in Curry's abandoned $2.9 million townhouse for about a year until police removed him from the building. As the "bum" explained to the paper, "I'm not a drug addict; I just don't have a place to sleep." Police took the man to a homeless shelter without incident.
A neurotic, motormouthed Octomom unleashed her children on the Today Show, and the result was complete mayhem. Above, Ann Curry chases down a runaway octobaby while another attempts electrocution by stage light. It's like watching someone tip over a giant bucket of marbles on a dancefloor.
Delivering a commencement speech is the academic equivalent of hosting the Oscars. It's high risk, high payoff, and potentially — if the stars align just right — pure showbiz magic. But when upwardly failing Today Show space cadet Ann Curry delivered an address to the graduates of Wheaton College, she pulled off something closer to a James Franco than a Billy Crystal, mistakenly listing a number of famous alumni who went to a different Wheaton College altogether. Oops! This year's speaker, Time Managing Editor Richard Stengel, couldn't resist opening with a joke at Curry's expense:
It's okay Ann, we don't really count the word "damn" as a swear anymore but it's totally cute that you do.