Ann Curry’s forced exit from Today seemed like some kind of emergency move to better ratings, anchor-relationships, or something (hard to say, since no one is saying). Too bad her last-minute replacement Savannah Guthrie isn’t doing much better in the co-anchor seat. Good Morning America has taken the lead in ratings, as Today continues to plummet.
Rival ABC show Good Morning America has had an edge on Today ever since Guthrie took over for Curry. Preliminary data show Good Morning America had 4.425 million viewers Monday to 4.069 million for Today. On Tuesday, preliminary numbers showed Good Morning at 4.326 million to 4.175 million for Today, notes NY Daily, who called Guthrie’s replacement of Curry “no quick fix.”
The TV industry has been quick to note that preliminary data are no indicator as to whether or not a morning host will take with audiences. Few take immediately, as was the case when George Stephanopoulos replaced Diane Sawyer on Good Morning. The show dropped a bit before eventually climbing. “It’s too early to tell with Savannah Guthrie,” says Michael Harrison, editor of Talkers magazine. “Ratings almost always take time to build. There’s also a tendency to look at one anchor or one person when these things almost always involve a large combination of factors. I’m not sure Ann Curry was the problem before. Maybe someone should have looked at Matt Lauer.”
Or maybe someone should look at NBC as a whole. Their odd anti-Ann animus combined with their complete infatuation with Guthrie aren’t even subtle. Curry only got a few tearful moments to say her goodbyes on her last show. Guthrie got what Daily Mail called a nauseating “Ode to Savannah,” calling the Guthrie clip-show “a reel of her rapid rise to the top from her days as legal correspondent to White House reporter to where she is today.”
Curry’s farewell was additionally difficult as she hinted she’d failed a role for Asian-Americans. “For all of you who saw me as a groundbreaker, I’m sorry I couldn’t carry the ball to the finish line, but, man, I did try,” she said during her goodbye. Larry Atkins of Huffington Post opined that her dismissal was indeed a setback for Asian-Americans.
In any case, I don’t watch much morning television myself, so I can’t really offer personal commentary on the matter. All I can say is this: whether Guthrie will end up being a good host or not, she sure looks to be enjoying herself in Curry’s seat.
…Or Curry left a tack on the seat.