FTVLive got an advance copy of NY Times Reporter Brian Stelter's new book "Top of the Morning" (It comes out Today) and just over half way through it.
At the half way point, we can say that we think it's a very good read, especially for people working in the crazy world of TV.
Stelter takes you behind the scenes of the Today Show debacle and tells you about how the internal politics that lead to the Today Show's fall from grace in the ratings.
FTVLive defiantly recommends "Top of the Morning" and we think you will enjoy it.
As for the NY Times (the company that Stelter works for) they panned the book.
The Time hired for Dallas Morning News TV Critic Ed Bark to review the book (It's standard practice for the newspaper to hire an outside critic to review a book by one of its staffers.)
In his review, Bark balks at comparisons on the book's jacket to veteran Times TV reporter Bill Carter, author of 1994's The Late Shift and 2010's The War for Late Night.
"What Mr. Carter had that Mr. Stelter doesn’t is an economy of words, grander Hollywood stages and (as Mr. Carter noted in his acknowledgments) the full cooperation of the star players: first David Letterman and Jay Leno, and then Mr. Leno andConan O’Brien," Bark writes.
By contrast, the major figures in Stelter's book -- Todayanchor Matt Lauer and executive producer Jim Bell, whom he paints as having conspired to oust Ann Curry from Today -- fought him at every step. Bark also suggests that the players behind Good Morning America were happy to assist in the pile-on and threw open their doors to Stelter -- resulting in a lack of impartiality.
"The author apparently even got a glimpse of what he calls the 'rather fabulous Italian neo-Classical bed' shared by Mr. [George] Stephanopoulos and his actress-comedian wife, Ali Wentworth, in their Upper East Side apartment," Bark writes, adding that "there are no such intimate details of Mr. Lauer’s sleeping quarters."
But Bark's bark is loudest with respect to Stelter's prose, which he calls "more than a little overblown" and "just plain silly."
FTVLive gets the feeling that Bark may have been more put off by the fact of Stelter's young age and trying to stick up for the old vet Bill Carter in his review.
The bottom line is Stelter is the new face of the NY Times and he is outworking Carter and the rest of the staff.
We for one feel Bark's review might have more about jealousy than anything else.
By the way it should be pointed out that Bill Carter mentioned FTVLive in his book and so far we have seen no mention of our site in Stelter's book. So if you think we're just taking Stelter's side? Forget it. We're just saying that "Top of the Morning" is a good read and we recommend buying it.