The media storm continues about the bullying suffered by former NBC Today show host, Ann Curry, at the hands of fellow co-workers and producers of the morning television show. It sounds as if there was a conspiracy to oust her, or in the alternative, make work so miserable she chose to quit.
Ms. Curry described her treatment at NBC to the New York Times as a “form of professional torture.“ A three part plan was allegedly hatched by Today show producer Jerry Bell titled Operation Bambi. It included Step 1) persuade Matt Lauer to extend his expiring contract; Step 2) oust Curry; Step 3) replace her with Savannah Gutherie. Mr. Bell is also alleged to have commissioned a blooper reel of Curry’s on-air gaffes, boxes of her personal belongings ended up in a coat closet prior to her being terminated, and of course, there is the Big Bird dress picture. Apparently, Ms. Curry wore a bright yellow dress on-air, and the control booth photo-shopped a picture of Big Bird next to her and wrote, “Who wore it best?”
It is interesting I haven’t seen any news reports labeling the workplace behavior as sexual harassment, but it sounds a lot like that to me. As an employer side labor and employment attorney, the facts smell bad. There apparently were enough details for author, Brian Stetler to write the book Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV.
For years, my personal choice had been the Today show for a quick peek at the news and weather for the day. I loyally hung on through the Pauley-Norville debacle, Matt Lauer’s mean emails about Willard Scott, and I even remember the replacement of news anchor Frank Blair. Enough is enough. After years of loyally supporting the Today Show, I am now trying out GMA, and the Early Show for my morning weather and news. NBC and Today have some work to do to win back this former fan.