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Jim Bell: ‘The competition is as fierce as ever’

“Today” show EP Jim Bell took some time today to give a pat on the back to the staff — including the interns. In a memo, obtained by TVNewser, Bell writes, “it’s worth noting that the news and this show never take vacations and I am extremely proud of how we’ve handled yet a very busy summer.” Bell also acknowledged the Meredith VieiraAnn Curry anchor change at the beginning of the summer:

The competition is as fierce as ever and I know that our competitors see our recent changes as a moment of opportunity but I could not be more confident in our on-air team and in everyone on the show right now to handle the challenges ahead.

While “Today” is the dominant morning show, last week ABC’s “Good Morning America” posted the smallest season-to-date Total Viewer gap with “Today” in four years, while CBS’ “The Early Show” — a distant third — had its best week since May.

Bell’s memo after the jump…

——–
From: Bell, Jim (NBCUniversal)
Sent: Friday, August 12, 2011 2:53 PM
Subject: Staff note
Importance: High

I hope everyone is enjoying the summer and spending some good quality time with friends and family on beaches and at barbecues. As always, summer feels like it is going too fast and the “back to school” specials at stores are making my kids shudder and my wife smile. As this season winds down I also wanted to thank our wonderful summer interns, as some of them are already heading back to school. I think this was probably the best group I’ve seen in my 7 summers at TODAY. They really did an excellent job and I fully expect we’ll end up hearing from some of them in the future.

Now as we start ramping up for another exciting fall, it’s worth noting that the news and this show never take vacations and I am extremely proud of how we’ve handled yet a very busy summer. We’ve covered the debt ceiling debate, the Newscorp phone hacking scandal, the Chinook tragedy in Afghanistan, extreme weather, Wall Street’s wild fluctuations, the ongoing sagas of Casey Anthony & Amanda Knox and on and on it goes. There’s still plenty of time to soak up some summer fun and I hope everyone takes advantage as best they can while being mindful that we are still cranking out 4 hours of live TV every morning and we always appreciate those who raise their hands, especially when news breaks.

The competition is a fierce as ever and I know that our competitors see our recent changes as a moment of opportunity but I could not be more confident in our on-air team and in everyone on the show right now to handle the challenges ahead. It is a testament to everyone’s hard work and skill that we’ve not missed a beat this summer and in case you missed it, here is a nice piece on our show in the Huffington Post yesterday… congrats to everyone and have a great weekend. JB

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