If NBC's Today is going to recover from their fall from grace, they need to stop talking about the fall.
That's the advice from the LA Times Joe Flint. He writes that If NBC News wants its morning program “Today” to move beyond the problems it has had in the last year, a good first step might be to stop reliving them in the media.
Rightfully concerned about the decline in ratings at its biggest news franchise and the beating host Matt Lauer has been taking in the media since Ann Curry was shown the door in favor of Savannah Guthrie, the network has been trying to put its own spin on the story.
But the approach is just refocusing attention on everything that went wrong — with little being said about how “Today” is trying to fix itself.
First Lauer and NBCUniversal Chief Executive Steve Burke talked to Howard Kurtz of the Daily Beast to make the case that Lauer was an innocent bystander in the Curry debacle. Now, in this week's edition of New York magazine, writer Joe Hagan was given a lot of access to Lauer and the rest of the "Today" team.
Hagan's access was intended to help the story focus on the new team at “Today” and the rebuilding effort that is going on. But the result was a juicy story reminding people how NBC messed up one of its most valuable franchises.
Hagan opens his story with a description of Lauer playing with a knife for a piece on airline safety. The host then makes a joke about not wanting to be photographed with a knife, which, alas, provided Hagan with a perfect opportunity for this zinger.
"If Matt Lauer doesn’t want to be seen with sharp knives, it’s because last summer his co-host Ann Curry was discovered with one in her back."