As I watched Anny Curry's tearful goodbye on Today, I had a thought; This sudden dismissal could well backfire for NBC.
Here's why. It's a bit of a pr disaster. Ann's dismissal, cuz that's what it is, happened in warp-speed. Her wounds are incredibly raw. Salt was not only poured on them, it was rubbed in, too.
Take it from someone who has done thousands of hours of live tv, there's nothing more dangerous (and makes executives incredibly nervous) than putting a talent who's nerves/emotions are raw on live television. Not only that, a talent who didn't want to go. A talent who called it her "dream job.". Now, in front of millions, Ann Curry had to say goodbye. It is a recipe for disaster or good tv.
Ann handled it as I knew she would. Emotional. Honest. She's too nice to take a shot across the bow at NBC, but she did have her moments. Subtle and well done.
But, back to why this may backfire for NBC. The network clearly removed Ann from Matt's side because, for all intents and purposes, Good Morning America beat Today on Ann's watch. She's the only difference in the past year. So, it had to be her, right? I'm not so sure. (Read yesterday's post) Net-Net, pure and simple, it's ratings.
So, this move by NBC is to stabilize and bolster ratings. However, with this messy handling of Ann Curry, with many viewers feeling she was kicked to the curb in a way not befitting someone who gave so many years to the show, NBC could turn off a number of loyal viewers. LOYAL viewers. Many felt Ann was incredibly loyal to NBC (arguably to a fault) and that loyalty was disrespected in the manner of her dismissal.
Ironically, those ratings NBC was trying to save, it may have just kicked to the curb.