Media: A lot of fuss has been made over Alessandra Stanley article in the New York Times about the Today Show and how Katie Couric has turned into a mercurial diva who has people running from her. Poynter's(THE bible of print media, just ask them they will tell you) Romenesko's page has run a couple of letters complaining that the article was tabloid journalism.
But a little over a year ago, Broadcasting and Cable ran a story by Steve McClellan that touched on the same major topics as Alessandra and if I didn't know better, I would say her story is just a stale rehash with a couple of new tidbits thrown in.
B&C 2/23/2004: The Today show may still be No. 1, but behind the bullet-proof glass of its Rockefeller Center studio, the shop is in turmoil.
"The fear here is, what's happening at Today is the beginning of all the wheels coming off," said one NBC News insider who, like many others at the network, predicts that a shakeup at the flagship morning show is on the way.
The change could start with Tom Touchet. Fairly or not, Today's executive producer has become a target for much of the criticism leveled at the show. The chatter at 30 Rock is that he may soon find himself out of a job or, more likely, suffer a de facto demotion, reporting to an "uber-executive" who watches over the show.
Some inside the network say Katie Couric is leading the charge against Touchet. Remember, she was none too pleased with his predecessor, Jonathan Wald. Today's $13 million-a-year superdiva was widely viewed as orchestrating Wald's demise after 17 months on the job. That's just about as long as Touchet has been there.|
|NYTIMES 04/25/05: For more than a decade Katie Couric has reigned as the Everywoman of morning television. NBC considered her so critical to restoring the pre-eminence of "Today" after the disaster known as Deborah Norville that in 2001 the network gave her a $60 million contract over four-and-a-half years to keep her from defecting. Inevitably, Ms. Couric's on-air persona changed, along with her appearance and pay scale. But lately her image has grown downright scary: America's girl next door has morphed into the mercurial diva down the hall. At the first sound of her peremptory voice and clickety stiletto heels, people dart behind doors and douse the lights.
Or, at least, change the channel. At its height, "Today" had two million more viewers than ABC's "Good Morning America." Now NBC's most profitable program may be in danger of falling behind: for the first time in years, the gap between "Today" and "Good Morning America" recently narrowed to just 270,000 viewers.
The strained chemistry between Ms. Couric and her colleagues - Matt Lauer, Al Roker and Ann Curry - could be one reason. But network karma is also to blame. After years of dominance, NBC is trailing in fourth place, while ABC is suddenly sparkling with hot new shows and momentum. "Good Morning America" parades the stars of "Desperate Housewives" and "Grey's Anatomy" in front of its viewers. The "Today" audience has to brace itself for yet another interview with a fired contestant from "The Apprentice."
Panic has set in at Rockefeller Center. Last week NBC dismissed the executive producer of "Today," Tom Touchet, and replaced him with a sports producer, Jim Bell, the program's fourth impresario since 2001.|