Ann Curry said her farewells on “The Today Show” this morning, struggling to hold back tears after the network essentially fired her. Sure, she’s going to continue being paid lots of money to report stories from around the world, but that’s just an agreement NBC made with her attorney to make her exit seem a little smoother. The bottom line is, she’s been canned.
In her final remarks, she referred to herself as a “ground-breaker,” which I don’t understand. She’s not the first woman to do the job (she replaced Meredith Vieira who replaced Katie Couric who replaced Deborah Norville who replaced Jane Pauley who replaced Barbara Walters). She’s not the first Asian woman to co-anchor a network news show (that was Connie Chung). What ground did Ann break?
I’m not taking anything away from her reportorial skills, but the reason she didn’t succeed on “Today” is that she didn’t exude one of the key qualities necessary for morning TV success — a sense of humor. You don’t have to be a comedian to do the job, but you do have to be able to lighten things up and not be a “serious journalist” all the time. That’s not Ann Curry’s personality, and it showed, in the same way it didn’t work when Katie Couric tried to go the opposite route from morning TV to evening news without enough gravitas. It’s why you won’t see Matt Lauer sitting in the anchor chair when Brian Williams is away, but you will see Curry there, and she’ll be much better suited for that than pretending to laugh at something Al Roker thought was funny.