With Brian Williams out of the anchor chair at NBC and Lester Holt in, one person may know all too well what the once beloved Williams may be going through.
Ann Curry’s final months at Today was “torture.” When she was ousted from her role at the daytime show alongside Matt Lauer, who many allege orchestrated her fall, the network brass retained her as lowly correspondent — consolation for her “excruciating” demotion and departure from the coveted position she worked so hard to obtain, citing a Us Magazine report.
— CNNMoney (@CNNMoney) June 18, 2015
Ahead of the announcement of Williams’ departure and new role, an insider dished on his new gig with the network. With so much money on the line and a standing contract in place, matters moved deliberately before a final decision, much in the way Curry’s eventual ouster would take place in her final months before quitting.
“There is an agreement. Brian won’t return to the anchor chair but has agreed to a different, news-oriented role. The negotiations have been complicated and difficult.”
RCV ENT: Time Heals All Wounds? Not Between Ann Curry & Matt Lauer, Three Years After 2012 ‘TODAY’ Controversy… http://t.co/P9FXY1q5OK
— NoLa Fat Stacks (@the504ceo) January 14, 2015
Brian’s new position was done in secrecy. His new gig “is something very different, but within news, that gives Brian room to grow and to rebuild his reputation,” according to the unnamed source, who added that it is “‘very different’ from that given to Ann Curry, who, in her final months, was made an NBC News national and international correspondent after her excruciating departure from Today.”
Many recall how graceful Curry handled her removal. Reportedly, she was tucked away from the public’s eye for the most part, but she was allowed to still earn a living. During that time, Ann was falling apart and likened her experience to torture, according to the source.
“[Ann Curry] left in June 2012. She left the network in January, unhappy that she was ‘basically doing nothing.'”
Williams was suspended for six months when several pieces of information surfaced that suggested he misrepresented several high-profile news stories by adding several elements and layers that simply didn’t exist. Brian explained it as a lack of judgment and misunderstanding, and that he had no intention to deceive readers and viewers.
However, the fallout was intense, and many, including his peers, demanded that he be dismissed or receive strict sanctions. During that time, Holt sat in the coveted chair, and eventually a movement started to install him as Williams’ replacement. It worked.
Ann Curry’s final months of torture was outlined in a book by media reporter Brian Stelter. In Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV, he outlined the torture 56-year-old Curry went through while execs figured out a damage control plan. During that time, there were allegations of abuse, much of it aimed at her choice of attire.
“A lot of time in the control room was spent making fun of Ann’s outfit choices or just generally messing with her.”
Stelter says Ann Curry was “profoundly hurt and humiliated” by her dismissal and the handling of same.
“She told friends that her final months were a form of professional torture.”
It’s unclear if Williams is enduring — or will experience — the level of torture described by Curry and others. However, as with anything else in entertainment, it has a way of healing over time.
[Photo by Angela Weiss/Getty Images for The Lourdes Foundation]