My latest NPR adventure: Dissecting the newest network TV morning show war
For a long while, morning television seemed a static proposition.
ABC's Good Morning America would forever be the perky second-place contender, trying hard to beat the Today's show's stranglehold on morning news audiences and forever falling short. CBS, despite numerous reinventions, mass firings and new titles, would always place third.
But in recent weeks, that picture has changed. GMA broke Today's 16-year ratings winning streak in April and came within 13,000 viewers of beating the NBC show in May's "sweeps" ratings period.
Amy Robach, once co-host of Today's weekend edition, jumped ship for ABC where she joined GMA's coverage of the British Queen's jubilee this morning.
ABC also announced plans to air a 2 p.m. edition of GMA in July as an experiment, realizing that it makes more sense to clone a successful morning show in daytime -- the same way NBC has with Today -- rather than develop shows from scratch, like the ill-fated lifestyle show The Revolution.
In the same way the evening newscasts have become more specifically focused -- with CBS zeroing in on hard news, while ABC offers a softer, more lifestyle-oriented approach -- the morning shows seem to be following suit.
In this commentary for The Hollywood Reporter, ex-Today show anchor Deborah Norville pushes back against one theory I present; that Ann Curry -- who will mark one year as Today's co-anchor June 9 -- may be helping GMA draw close.
I developed a commentary for NPR on the escalating AM war, centered on Today co-anchor Matt Lauer's admission on CNN last week that his show needs some work.
Check it out below; the commentary aired this morning: