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NBC Throws Ann Curry Under the Bus

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by Melissa Silverstein
July 3, 2012 12:18 PM
14 Comments
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Ann Curry

In the days since Ann Curry departed as co-host of the Today show after a year in that position I have become more and more disgusted at her treatment in the press by the people who run NBC.

Steve Capus the head of NBC News spoke with the Hollywood Reporter and said that "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."

I can't tell you how disgusting that quote is.  She filled in as the host many, many times.  She read the news for 14 years.  She's been reporting amazing stories from all over the world, but as he said she had played at the higest level she could.

This dude is a douche.

To me it looks a lot harder reporting from famines and war zones across the world than sitting in the studio doing cooking segments.  But that's the job and she decided to take it so that part is her fault. 

Also part of the job is to look really perky and happy, which it seems that Ann Curry couldn't fake according to Capus. 

“I think it was not where her real passion was,” he said. “In her heart of hearts, I think she would admit that. I think her real passion is built around reporting on international stories. It’s tough to convey a sincere interest in something if you don’t possess it. We live in a HD world. Dan Rather used to say the camera never blinks. Well, this is an HD world now, and the camera picks up everything. And you could tell with her, you can tell with any anchor, whether they’re into it or not. And I think we’ve now come up with a role that will play to her strengths.”

So he basically said she looked like she wasn't interested in her job, and that she did a bad job, and so he fired her.

Fucking douche.

Both Katie Couric and Deborah Norville weighed in on how painful the goodbye looked (which is below)

Couric: "It really broke my heart this morning to see Ann, because I know she’s suffering and is feeling a lot of pain with this transition, and I know that it’s really hard for everyone on the show."

Norville: As a woman, I felt badly for Ann, who seemed so sad at how the "dream job" ended up such a disappointment. She appeared truly wounded and genuinely hurt as she stared dolefully at her lap as her soon-to-be-former colleagues mentioned their "favorite Ann moments."

NBC is bringing in chief legal correspondent and former White House reporter Savannah Guthrie to take over for Ann.  Here is a woman who reported hard news story in the White House who is now going to be doing the cooking and clothing segments.  It's a huge loss for the hard news beat cause she's really smart, but the Today Show is one of the biggest jobs in TV and so who can blame her for doing it. 

The problem for me is that it seems that Capus hired her because she's upbeat and bubbly and cute.  Here's how he described her:

Someone around here likened her to Mary Tyler Moore, which I thought was kind of funny," he continued. "She’s completely endearing. She’s an ultimate team player.

Ann Curry will be feeling the pain for a while.  At least she will get to do what she loves which is to go to places and cover stories that are vitally important which she began during her tenure on Today.  They encouraged her to spread her wings and she did and has become a first class reporter.  But she'll be ok.  She's a strong woman

NBC on the other hand has a lot of pieces to pick up due to the fact that they handled this so poorly.

NBC News Chief on Ann Curry's 'Today' Departure: 'It Was Not Where Her Real Passion Was' (Exclusive) (Hollywood Reporter)

NBC News' president Steve Capus practically kicked Ann Curry out the door (Daily News)

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14 Comments

  • ALM | July 24, 2012 9:22 PMReply

    "Team player" is the corporate code phrase for people who will do anything the company asks them to do, even if that action involves lying, backstabbing, and a loss of morals/ethics. Keep your head up Ann, and keep your class and ethics in tact as you always have. :)

  • S. A | July 14, 2012 12:34 PMReply

    Like the Terminator said She'll be back. Just wait. Take courage Anne they can't keep a good woman down. Where was the Asian protest? No unity in that group at all.

  • S. M. Wassberg | July 13, 2012 2:54 PMReply

    What is going on with NBC? You cancel Harry's Law which is a well written well performed show!! Then you oust Ann Curry who had added nothing but "class" to any of the news she has covered. Who is making all these weird decisions anyway? I am really planning on eliminating NBC from any of the TV line-up for viewing.

  • Nicholas Robinson | July 6, 2012 9:43 AMReply

    I never watch any of those "news" shows but it seems to me that I'd much rather see someone who knows what she's doing up there rather than some starlet from central casting. Oh sure, I'm sure they work hard too but unfortunately TV isn't the airline industry where age and experience might help a passenger out of a burning plane or subdue a drunk passenger so these dickwads at the top can somewhat legitimately claim "sex sells" because TV is all about pretty faces and always has been. The reason the men don't get fired in droves is because they're part of the team doing the firing. Don't patronize these shows, is all I can lamely say. Vote with your remote.

  • Bes | July 5, 2012 1:36 PMReply

    No one in Corporate Media world is talking about whether Matt Lauer has aged out of host position at Today. Everyone in real life is talking about it, especially women. But of course this is just another example of how Corporate Media does not reflect the culture we live in but rather presents the views of the group of wealthy old men who own it.

  • Amy | July 5, 2012 12:07 PMReply

    Why is no one talking about whether Matt Lauer has lost his appeal? Because all I saw on my twitter and facebook timeline was how none of my friends could stand him and had switched to GMA because of him a long time ago...

  • Bes | July 4, 2012 12:47 PMReply

    I'm at work when Today is on so I don't watch it. I see no reason to have Curry give a goodbye speech, it sounds really degrading. Still if I were offered 10 million to leave my job plus a more rewarding job I wouldn't think twice about taking it. NBC is the most sexist network around. You will see it in the Olympics coverage with the upskirt camera angles on women athletes and the hype over bikini volleyball and in almost every other show they broadcast. I am sure the pigs who run the network think Curry is too old although the idea that Lauer might have aged out of the position won't have occurred to them. The show is an advertising venue, it isn't some cultural phenomenon or news show so I really don't consider it surprising that they want vapid but credentialed hosts on it.

  • CJ | July 4, 2012 8:10 AMReply

    Deborah Norville wrote an illuminating feature earlier this year for THR about the treatment of female morning anchors entitled “Why Women Lose the Morning TV Wars,” of which she knows a lot about as she was unceremoniously fired from The Today Show as well. Although on first glance it comes off kinda rant-like, by article's end you realize how valid it is (it even begins with a quote - "Today co-host Ann Curry is "grim.") While I wasn't a big fan of Curry as co-host either, wondering why they selected her for such a yuk-yuk job (or why she agreed), her exit was dirty and is sad to see. You can read Norville's article here: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/deborah-norville-ann-curry-today-good-morning-america-310305

  • Linn | July 3, 2012 6:23 PMReply

    Melissa, as you know, I'm a huge fan of yours. But I have to respectfully disagree with some of your comments in this post. And I think they're possibly a bit excessive... The first quote you mention, by Mr. Capus, is a little rude and disrespectful, but I'm not sure calling him a douche is necessary. He didn't belittle her or call her names (at least as implied by your quotes). And your second quote of his, I find it fair as he is one of the bosses. If it's true her heart was not in it - then most definitely a camera will show that. Again, he did not say she was not smart enough to understand what she was talking about, or something like that. I will agree that "perky" should not be a requirement, but it sounds like a reasonable reason to change up the show. Maybe everyone really means she was too old or something and we're talking in a code I'm missing - then please let me in on it. But if you have a lackluster performer who is not enjoying themselves, it's time to recast/shuffle things up. I don't see why NBC is in trouble for that. (for the record, I do not watch the show so I'm going purely on what I read in this post)

  • Carmen | July 3, 2012 3:18 PMReply

    Thanks for your post. It got me thinking further about the expectations of women anchors for NBC's The Today Show: is "perkiness" and "bubbly" a job qualification for their network? These traits don't seem to be required of their male anchors (okay, unless they're weathermen). Nevertheless, I applaud Ann Curry for taking a chance at being in this high-profile position even if it didn't work out. Glad you called NBC out on their poor treatment of a longtime & loyal employee who held such a visible role on tv.

  • B | July 3, 2012 2:41 PMReply

    She deserved so much more. The Today Show is hokey and egotistical and Ann gave some gravity and authentic heart to its place in the world, not to mention reality check in real conflict zones. Meredith Viera got such a show upon her exit after being there one tenth as long simply for playing the game. To claim Ann pulled the ratings down is crap. I'd like to see a focus group on how relatable, skilled and perky Matt Lauer seems in cooking show segments--better yet, how does he rate on the empathy and critical questions section when in the field? Oh, right. He's not exactly a gold start there. Ann deserved more grace and gratitude for all she gave and I hope the ratings take to prove that their news show is really tacky variety without her. The blessing is that I know she will shine in this new direction and NBC will have to eat their words.

  • kmc1213 | July 3, 2012 2:04 PMReply

    The Today Show seriously needs to get a grip. Though I am not a fan of hers, Ann was not the problem. They need to stop doing such nonstop sappy crap. (I also think it's weird that they say she wasn't into the sappy stories, because she was the sappiest of them all.)

  • No | July 3, 2012 1:32 PMReply

    It may be one of the took jobs in television, but it is a festival of idiocy. The Today show is one of the best example of how TV dumbs down audiences and makes Americans superficial. Did you ever see their so-called panels "The Professionals"?

    Ann Curry should not have appeared on the couch that day. It was just another form of TV degrading its subjects as victims.

  • LeonRaymond | July 3, 2012 12:57 PMReply

    One of the most racist and sexist Networks around, I would expect nothing less, I surprised he didn't say Ann could have held on to her job if she was a bit more Pregnant and and a bit more barefoot!!!

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