Former Today co-host Ann Curry once said her final months in a diminutive position with the NBC network was torture. Now, in wake of his demotion from The Nightly News, ex-anchor Brian Williams admits that he experienced the same agony during his six-month suspension, this according to an NBC News update.
In many ways, Curry’s eventual demise is being reflected in Williams’ departure from his coveted role, albeit under different circumstances. However, what Ann and Brian share in common are feelings of isolation, sorrow, and torture in their final months before moving on to different roles that put them front and center in high-profile roles. The tradeoff was immense, and they would ultimately pay heavy prices for meteoric success in broadcast journalism.
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Williams recently sat with Ann Curry’s former colleague, Matt Lauer, over two days. He spoke about the lying scandal, the months-long internal investigation, and the fallout from what he calls bad decisions that he now “owns.” Excerpts played on television stations and online sites on Friday.
“I am sorry. I am sorry. for what happened. I am different as a result and I expect to be held to a different standard. I said things that weren’t true. Looking back, it had to have been ego that made me think I had to be sharper, funnier, quicker than anybody else, [to] put myself closer to the action, having been at the action in the beginning. I own this and I own up to this.
“I was reading these newspaper stories, not liking the person I was reading about, wanting — I would have given anything to get to the end of the story and have it be about someone else, but it was about me. These statements I made, I own this; I own up to this and I have to go through and see and try to figure out how it happened.”
Curry recently spoke out on the recent revelations with Williams. And to Ann, she’s not surprised about how the lying scandal was handled. She has her own final months of torture to reflect on. Back in 2012, when the public learned she was being dismissed from her job in favor of a younger, more sprightly anchor, it came as a surprise to many.
Critics claim that NBC did nothing to insulate Ann Curry from the eventual torture she would endure over the following months. Curry was forced to step down to the position of correspondent. During that time, allegations arose that staff were harassing her, which eventually led to Ann quitting and moving beyond the painful chapter in her life.
Meanwhile, Williams will stay at NBC, but with its sister brand, MSNBC, where he will take part in breaking news stories. Media analysts say the negotiations behind the scenes involved lots of contractual money owed to Williams. Many slammed the interview with Lauer, a person who the network is trying to rehabilitate from his past woes and alleged charges of orchestrating Ann’s ouster. That has not been independently confirmed.
Ann Curry has moved on from her torture during the last months of her tenure. It’s unclear how Williams will weather the transition, but if Curry’s new lease on life is any final indicator, he will do just fine.
[Photo by Angela Weiss/Getty Images for The Lourdes Foundation]