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The Cold Filtered Ramblings of Gene Mueller

Ann Curry's "Today" show dismount

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This is what it looks like when someone's TV career gets uncermoniously altered on live TV.   

Here's Ann Curry's "Today" show farewell.





She took over for Meredith Viera a year ago, and leaves after "Today" lost it's 16 year grip on the number one spot in the ratings, getting passed by this spring by ABC's "Good Morning America".

To anyone who doubts this move was Curry's idea, the video is Exhibit A as we make the case proving that it wasn't.   That wasn't someone crying tears of joy over a new opportunity.

I see "Today" every morning, since one of our in-studio TV sets is always on Today's TMJ4.   The sound is down, for obvious reasons, so I can't weigh in on the alleged lack of chemistry between Curry and co-host Matt Lauer.  I see what the do, though, and there are some things that make me think the slide in numbers isn't only about how Ann and Matt played together on the couch, among them:

--daily stories about the Royal Family in general and Kate Middleton in particular.   I realize NBC has the Olympics and that a lot of folks in the US care about the Queen and her extended family but really?   What legitimate stories DON'T get covered because of the self-inflicted addiction to all things Windsor and what kind of shoes Kate wore last night?

--don't get the Donny Deutsch/Star Jones panel.   At all.   On almost every day.   I think I'm lucky the sound is down.

--do bad things only happen to good looking people?   You'd think so if you watch "Today".   Every missing person, abuse victim, or other person involved in some sort of calamity is rock-star gorgeous.   Making sad news easy on the eyes isn't news.   

"Today" can do some really good things--the clarity with which Lauer, David Gregory, Savannah Guthrie and others from NBC News handled Thursday's complex Supreme Court ruling on heath care was outstanding, at least that part I was able to dip into.   Great insight.   Sound explanations.   Live TV at it's best, even when it's reduced to nothing but a stack of papers being read by talking heads.

"Today" is a complex beast, and it's lots of different things to generations of people who tune it in.  Curry isn't the first TV personality/journalist to get a quick hook, she's just the latest.   She gets to go back to what she does best--reporting the news.

Maybe "Today" should follow suit.

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