Matt Lauer, Ann Curry, and more ‘Today Show’ drama

Are we ever going to reach the end of the near-constant stream of drama pertaining to “The Today Show“? It seems almost like the more we think that the story of Ann Curry’s dismissal is over, the tabloids find another way to spin it and bring it back.

Case in point? A new story from Us Weekly that tries for the millionth time to pin the entire firing on Matt Lauer, as if he has enough power to solely force a co-host out of a program. Could he make a suggestion or two? Sure, but the press seems to be forgetting something in the midst of their “Today” coverage over the past few weeks — Lauer is not “The Today Show,” and neither was Ann Curry. The show was a success long before either of these two signed up for a gig, and it will continue to be after they are gone.

Despite claims that Lauer was behind Curry’s firing — and he may have at least had an opinion about it — the real reason for the change seems to be simply about ratings. While there are plenty of people out there who are not the biggest fans of the anchor, he was part of a #1 show for more than a decade. The only thing that changed in the past year — the period of time in which “Good Morning America” caught up with “The Today Show” — was that Curry was sitting next to him. Personally, we actually think it was more about what “GMA” did (shifting to a tone that was a bit more entertainment than news-based) than what the folks at NBC failed at, but Curry is solely the person who had to take the fall for a problem that is bigger than her.

The issue “Today” faces now is that there are a myriad of more specific choices out there for viewers than there was a decade ago. People looking for hard news can watch Fox News or MSNBC’s morning shows, and those wanting more lighthearted fare can turn to “GMA” or even prerecorded episodes of E! News or “Live! with Kelly” a little later in the morning. Before “Today” can figure out how to win back the first two hours of the morning TV war, they need to figure out what show they want to be. It’s hard to alternate between hard politics and a Justin Bieber performance when there are so many other options out there.

Do you think the problems at “Today” over the past year are really the fault of Curry, of Lauer, or of “Today” as a whole? Be sure to check out some of our other coverage, and leave your thoughts below!

Photo: NBC

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