Brian Stelter: ‘Today’ show will be back on top

BOK_TopofMORNING3D4C_Flt_0430

During our interview about his new book, “Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV,” Brian Stelter consistently refers to the ouster of Ann Curry on the “Today” show as “The Ann Curry Disaster.”

And a disaster it was. After an awkward first year, Curry was unceremoniously replaced as co-host of “Today” in 2012. It was far from smooth transfer: On her last day on set, Curry actually cried when she announced she was leaving the show; she then visibly flinched when Matt Lauer tried to comfort her. The entire watching world cringed simultaneously — and her loyal audience left in droves, thus knocking “Today” off its throne as the No. 1 morning program by “Good Morning America,” a title “Today” held for 15 years.

And while this was terrible for Curry, it was a delicious twist for Stelter, a media reporter for The New York Times, who was already working on a book about the morning TV wars. “The Ann Curry Disaster happened in June 2012,” he says. “At that point I had already been deep inside the show for about six months.”

Stelter then wrote as fast as he could to make sure the topic was still fresh. NBC, who has been attempting damage control ever since Curry left, has been clobbered again by “Top of the Morning,” which paints Matt Lauer, Jim Bell (his former boss), and ex-NBC News president Steve Capus as office bullies who dubbed the systematic removal of Curry as “Operation Bambi.” “I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Matt Lauer came out in March and gave interviews and talked about the Ann Curry Disaster for the first time. I think it makes a lot of sense that he was trying to give a pre-rebuttal to my book. A ‘prebuttal,’ if you will,” says Stelter.

But don’t cry for “Today.” In a way, Stelter thinks the upheaval at our morning television mainstays are a good thing. “I think it’s inevitable that the ‘Today’ show will get back to first place. It’s just a question of when,” he says. “‘Good Morning America’ was losing for 15 years; now it’s winning, so they’re not going to let that go without a fight. And what we see on air every day now is that fight — which is very interesting to watch.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Police seek mother of slain 11-year-old on involuntary…

Police are seeking the mother of an 11-year-old girl who was accidentally shot to death by her 2-year-old brother two weeks ago on involuntary manslaughter…

Local

Chestnut Hill College student found dead Wednesday morning

A 22-year-0ld Chestnut Hill College student was found dead this morning inside a college dormitory, police said.

International

Nearly 300 missing after South Korean ferry capsizes

Almost 300 people were missing after a ferry capsized off South Korea Wednesday, in what could be the country's biggest maritime disaster in over 20 years.

News

Explosions in new Boston Marathon bomb panic, 'twisted'…

A fresh Boston Marathon terror alert, which caused Bomb Squad officers to order an evacuation while two controlled explosions were carried out, was today being…

Going Out

Get down and dirty at these neighborhood dives

Philly's got its share of innovative gastropubs and seen-and-be-seen drinking establishments with inventive cocktails served in mason jars. But sometimes we just want a shot…

Movies

Interview: Johnny Depp says he looks like himself,…

Johnny Depp talks about his new sci-fi thriller "Transcendence," not wearing gaudy makeup and wigs for a change and how he's a bit of a Luddite.

Movies

Review: 'Heaven is for Real' tries to be…

The mega-bestseller "Heaven is for Real" becomes a movie that tries to portray wrestling with faith — or at least it tries to try.

Movies

Slideshow: Check out Johnny Depp looking weird through…

Johnny Depp says he looks like himself in "Transcendence." He usually doesn't. Here's a slideshow of his weirder faces.

NHL

Top 5 Philadelphia storylines for Flyers-Rangers

The slate is clean for the Flyers and the Rangers. Which is good news for the Flyers.

U.S. Soccer

Andrew Wenger has big shoes to fill on…

Lancaster County native Andrew Wenger will feel pressure to fill the shoes of departer forward Jack McInerney.

NBA

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could…

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could the Mavericks surprise?

NBA

Sixers, Michael Carter-Williams give fans a happy ending…

The 2013-14 season for the 76ers has nearly come to a close.

Career

How to get a job at a startup:…

We talked to Tarek Pertew, one of the co-founders behind Uncubed, about how to get your dream job at a startup.

Parenting

The 'smartest' summer camps across the country

See a list of summer camps across the country that emphasis learning, while still being fun.

Home

3 easy DIY updates for your home

While you're deep into spring cleaning, why not make a few tweaks to give your home a fresh decorative twist? Don't worry, we're not talking…

Food

Martha Stewart's tips for a perfect Easter

Even if your dinner isn't as perfect as hers, you can use her advice.