TV Heads Will Roll - Sometimes, Even TV Ratings

You can’t be sure what happened at the “Today” show, with the very short reign of executive producer Jamie Horowitz, who lasted just over two months on the job.

Rumors spread that Horowitz wanted to make some big major changes -- including moving out ”Today”’s main news reader, Natalie Morales, as well as on-air personality William Geist, and possibly even main host Savannah Guthrie.

We know media executives can give those newly in charge a line about “taking their time” and “do whatever it takes” to see results. But they might also add quietly, out of earshot: “Keep things pretty much as they are.” This can include personnel and/or content issues.



The  show had a long, strong reign as the number-one morning show, a big profitable venture where advertisers continue to flock. Even now as second banana to ABC’s “Good Morning America,” “Today” continues to pull in strong advertising revenues -- over $350 million a year.

It’s almost as if NBC executives were saying to Horowitz: “Don’t mess up that part.”

Gambling to make big changes? No one wants that. But maybe a calculated gamble? Think about CNN a few years ago. It was getting whipped by Fox News, with MSNBC was also nipping on its heels. Larry King was important to the network in prime time, but network executives believed long-time cable news network needed some major alterations.

So Piers Morgan arrived in January 2011 to great fanfare -- and initially some decent viewer interest.  That lasted a little past three years, to March 2014,  when he departed because of poor viewership. Morgan feared viewers were tired of a British guy “banging” on about specific cultural American issues.

Many might give CNN credit for taking a chance to shake things up. Others would say the news network is now worse off. Jeff Zucker started running the show in late November 2012.

Monday-morning quarterbacking is a dicey way to go. NBC will look for another way to right its ship. But I’m guessing those moves will be slight -- at best.

2 comments about "TV Heads Will Roll - Sometimes, Even TV Ratings".
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  1. charles bachrach from BCCLTD, November 24, 2014 at 4:43 p.m.

    NBC and CNN are certainly worse off now. Jeff Zucker is a fraud and
    has ruined everything he's touched. I am also not being a "Monday
    morning quarterback" as I worked in media/programming during
    his tenure and had to deal with him. Egocentric hardly covers his
    issues. He may be rich, but he's still a jerk!

  2. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, November 24, 2014 at 7:01 p.m.

    The Peter principal continues.

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