There are few things newspaper editors like more than to write about troubled TV. Antenna envy, a former news director of mine used to call it. For the past few months the New York Daily News, which, earlier this year, hired former News of the World editor Colin Myler as its chief, has had its sights set on NBC’s “Today” show.
In an un-bylined story in today’s New York Daily News, there’s a report claiming “Today” “is on the verge of losing its general.” That would be show EP Jim Bell, who also produced the London Olympics for NBC. The story goes that Bell will move back, and up, at NBC Sports.
There’s nothing new in this piece that wasn’t reported by Reuters a month ago. TVNewser reaches out to “Today” quite regularly following up on this chatter. Recently, Bell told us, “I am very happy here. If you are a producer, it truly doesn’t get any better than working on the TODAY show and the Olympics.”
Could something change in the future? Of course. But nothing’s imminent.
This is the second story in as many days in the Daily News regarding the “Today” show.
Thursday’s story was about Matt Lauer and his Q score — which measures familiarity and likeability of celebrities. The News reports Lauer’s has dropped 25% in the last year. (Interesting to note, that’s about the same percentage that “Today’s” ratings are down since last year.)
A glib Lauer responds to the News, “Is it only 25 percent? Because it actually feels much worse.”
It was also the Daily News which splashed across its July 31 front page an Olympics-related story that was shot down unequivocally by the show. And there probably will be more.
Seems like the Daily News is taking a line from Don Henley‘s “Dirty Laundry,” which is a song about TV news: “Kick ’em when they’re up, kick ’em when they’re down.”