Reporting Jonathan Doll
A new book, written by Brain Stelar, a media reporter for The Times Magazine, is about the struggles and behind the scenes drama at one of America’s most popular morning shows, ‘Today’.
The New York Times sat down with Stelar to discuss the new book, and uncovered some interesting things about ‘Today’.
Stelar describes ‘Today’ as having a “boys’ club” atmosphere, and adds that it’s not common for that atmosphere to be present at a major television network. “It’s more common than we’d like to think. I’m not aware of any bullying behavior at “G.M.A.” or at other morning shows. But these shows are mostly run by men, even though there are a plethora of women behind the scenes,” Stelar said.
Adding, “In my reporting I was struck by something that Ann Curry said to her friends after being demoted. When TV critics said she lacked chemistry with Matt Lauer, she heard a euphemism being employed: she said “chemistry” is “an excuse generally used by men in positions of power to say, ‘The woman doesn’t work.’”
Stelar went on to describe the effort to replace curry on ‘Today’ as “Operation Bambi”. “The concern was that demoting Curry would be akin to “killing Bambi,” meaning that it would upset millions of her fans. Looking back, I think there’s a consensus view, at least at NBC, that replacing Curry with Savannah Guthrie was the right thing to do, but that the people in charge went about it the wrong way,” said Stelar.
Stelar’s new book, Top Of The Morning, will hit book shelves today.