Billy Bush Blog: The Ann Curry Story

Here is the downside of vacation: Something real happens, something rife with emotions and consequences and I can’t open my big mouth to speak the truth. But, my fingers aren’t broken.

Was Ann Curry shafted? Yes, but not really.

NBC put its most prized franchise, the “Today” show, on the line out of loyalty to one of its longest serving players. One person. That is not only nice, it’s borderline insane. Most people within the business agreed that Ann was big on the news but not on the schmooze. “Today” show co-anchors need to be not good, but great at both. I remember doing an interview with Ann on the day she was named co-host and I asked her about adjusting to the light, silly stuff that comes with the job. She basically said, ‘I can be fun!’ Yes, she can, but at the heart, Ann is a serious journalist whose earnest compassion for people all over the world is her ace in the hole. NBC risked it all to let her be the head cheerleader who dates the quarterback. In the end, she is better off as the president of the debate team. Her work is great work and it will get the attention it deserves. Perhaps now, maybe more.

Did Ann get shafted with an abrupt goodbye after 15 years, whereas Meredith Viera had a memorable off? No. How awkward would that have been, and my gut tells me Ann didn’t want it. That kind of phoniness is not her.

NBC should not be criticized for removing Ann as anchor, they should be applauded for giving her a shot.

Ann had earned the shot and to the dismay of many loud dissenting voices got it.

“GMA” has tightened the score largely on its fun factor. They have thrown the “Today” show’s identity into confusion. Time for clarity from studio 1A.

Ann made references to the “family” at the “Today” show this morning. What family doesn’t have its distinctions, its clashes and growing pains?

Whoever gets the job will know pressure but no more than Matt. He knows it’s time to double down and lead. I believe he will.

-- Billy Bush

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