NBC Memo Operation Bambi In Ann Curry Today Show Ousting

THECOUNT.COM "News You Can Count On!" - April 20, 2013

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Brian Stelter‘s new book, Top of the Morning blows the lid off the ostracizing of Ann Curry from the Today show, firstly by revealing that NBC brass monikered their rotten plan, “Operation Bambi.” Stelter chronicles the months leading up to Curry’s departure, reporting that network honchos were hell-bent on Curry’s exit, demanding, behind closed doors that the host be fired citing the cutting move ‘vital’ to the show’s survival..

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Stelter writes:

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At one point, the executive producer, Jim Bell, commissioned a blooper reel of Curry’s worst on-air mistakes. Another time, according to a producer, Bell called staff members into his office to show a gaffe she made during a cross-talk with a local station. (Bell denies both incidents.) Then several boxes of Curry’s belongings ended up in a coat closet, as if she had already been booted off the premises. One staff person recalled that “a lot of time in the control room was spent making fun of Ann’s outfit choices or just generally messing with her.” On one memorable spring morning, Curry wore a bright yellow dress that spawned snarky comparisons to Big Bird. The staff person said that others in the control room, which included 14 men and 3 women, according to my head count one morning, Photoshopped a picture of Big Bird next to Curry and asked co-workers to vote on “Who wore it best?”

[…] So insistent was Bell that Curry was the problem — that she was “out of position,” as he put it in an e-mail to his deputies — that he had been talking about it with friends for months. One morning-TV veteran suggested to him that firing Curry, who had been co-hosting for only about six months at that point, would be tantamount to “killing Bambi.” Undeterred, Bell hatched a careful three-part plan: 1.) persuade Lauer to extend his expiring contract; 2.) oust Curry; 3.) replace her with Savannah Guthrie. According to this source, Bell called his plan Operation Bambi.

Organized book opponents are doing their best to discredit the work before it even hits store shelves, mostly by releasing a hoard of internet ‘commenters’ — Here’s one such comment, Minnesota Nice:

If few notes on why this book will have no journalistic credibility and thus not worthy of purchase: Brian Stelter had NBC fact check his book back in January, so obviously NBC won’t let anything in the book hurt their brand. As a NY Times liberal (progressive), Brian Stelter has motives for the also liberal NBC Today Show to succeed and help stop their disastrous ratings slump. Alex Weprin is friends with Brian Stelter, thus the huge promotion here at TVNewser. As we all know Alex Weprin and the rest of TVNewser constantly post promotional items on the Today show and they follow the compliment sandwich approach (positive story followed by a bad story followed by another positive story) whenever they post something that may hurt the show, which is very rare. The book is dated, if he had NBC review and fact check back in January than all events in the past four months won’t be reflected. So if you want to read a NBC approved book mostly about the Today Show go ahead and buy the book.

Stelter’s book officially comes out Tuesday.

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