Today Show Widens Morning Show Gap

By Chris Ariens 

Even with staff lay-offs and competitors that do not let up, NBC’s Today show not only continues to win the morning ratings race, but it is doing so by wider margins. On Thursday, January 24 Today lead ABC’s Good Morning America by 1.9M total viewers; the following Monday the lead was 1.8M.

“I think that we’re on all cylinders,” NBC News SVP Phil Griffin tells TVNewser. Griffin says he noticed the show started to pull away last fall. “It began in November, accelerated in December and continued in January with politics,” says Griffin.

GMA started to make a run for Today late last summer, topping the NBC show two days in a row in August, but not enough to win the week. The gap for a weekly win was closest in May, 2005 when GMA came within 40,000 viewers of beating Today.


Excluding big wins around the Summer and Winter Olympics and the departure of Katie Couric, Griffin says Today “is dominating in ways that hasn’t been seen for years.”

And the big numbers come at a time of staff cutbacks. Today was not immune to layoffs that affected several areas of NBC News late last year. Senior producer Amy Rosenblum, charged with overseeing the program’s fourth hour, was among those cut.

“We are perceived as a family,” says Griffin, who in addition to being the NBC executive-in-charge is also the show’s #1 cheerleader. “A lot of people looked at us, saw how strong this team is and how creative this team is. There’s a great energy going on between Meredith, Matt, Ann and Al.”

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