Ann Curry, who was unceremoniously dumped as the co-host of The Today Show at the end of June, returned to the show this morning for the first time since the firing.
Curry, whose last appearance was on June 28, was supposedly going to appear on the show from time to time as a feature reporter, but had been mysteriously absent until today. NBC had previously said that Curry would be in London with the rest of the Today crew. Her appearance on the last weekday broadcast before the Olympics end only increases the speculation that the network is planning on using her sparingly on the show.
Since Curry’s departure, which was blamed on sagging ratings, Today has spiraled even further downward, and was poised to surrender their 16-year plus crown in the A25-54 demo to Good Morning America before the Olympics intervened to prop up the show.
But the Olympics end on Sunday, and while there might be a little residual effect from the last two weeks, it probably won’t be long before Today will have to face the reality that the show is in a long-term decline and that the ratings free fall wasn’t all Curry’s fault.
NBC can ill afford to see The Today Show play second fiddle to GMA, but at the same time they haven’t taken the necessary action of overhauling and refreshing the show.
Time will tell if Today can regain its mojo or if it will suffer a fate similar to that of CNN, which once ruled the roost of cable television news.