In a tearful farewell, Curry thanked the viewers, saying, “You are why I have ventured into dangerous places and interviewed dictators and jumped off of planes and bridges and climbed mountains…for all of you who saw me as a groundbreaker, I am sorry I couldn’t carry the ball across the finish line-but man, did I try.”
Curry will continue to be a correspondent for NBC, and that includes coverage for Today.
Since Curry took over for the departing Meredith Vieira, ratings for the Today show have slipped, and for the first time in over 15 years, there have been days when ABC‘s Good Morning America has actually beaten Today in viewership.
That being said, I also think Curry was not right for a spot as co-host. Judging by what I see with most talk show hosts, people (or the suits, take your pick) seem to want vapid, pretty, and mindless. It is perfectly acceptable for Matt?Lauer or Katie Couric to relax and cut up when they are zip-lining or competing with gourmet chefs to see who can make the best scrambled eggs, but don’t show emotion when it comes to important matters. Just ask Anderson Cooper about the reaction to his coverage of Katrina.
I don’t think Curry could portray “vapid” if she tried. One of the reasons she became so wildly popular as an on-the-spot reporter was because she routinely exposed her humanity while maintaining an air of professionalism…a tough tightrope for any reporter to walk. She brought realism to the tragedy of murdered children or a tense standoff of detained hikers that the blond, shiny TV face could never achieve.
But when it comes to sitting in the host’s chair, her humanity was sadly out of place.
So did NBC drop the ball? I guess you could say yes and no. From a ratings standpoint, a shakeup may have a positive effect, depending on who serves as Curry’s replacement. On the other hand, NBC had the chance to allow credibility and maturity to remain on its troubled talk show, and chose another path.
They would rather leave Kathie Lee Gifford to continue sinking Today‘s reputation by mispronouncing guest names, talking over her co-host, and snorting when she laughs.