The AP’s David Bauder is out with his story of regular Joes and Joans talking about why they’ve stopped watching the “Today” show. Bauder sent this Tweet in late September looking for input. And he got it. (Last week we put it to you, asking why you think “Today” is losing viewers. The poll’s still open if you’d like to vote, or see current results).
As of the week of Sept. 24, “Today” had lost 961,000 viewers (-18%) from the year ago period, and it’s down -29% in the key adult news demo. Bauder found a range of responses for “Today’s” drop, from the format, to story selection, to the host changes, especially the hiring and firing of Ann Curry and what, if anything, Matt Lauer had to do with it.
- Susan Wurtzel, 57, Germantown, MD: “Ann’s interview style was like chalk on a board to me. When she replaced Meredith (Vieira), I tried to adjust and accept, but she just didn’t work for me. Katie (Couric) and Meredith were relatable, empathetic and funny. Ann just seemed out of place.” (“Wurtzel tunes to CBS most mornings,” Bauder writes)
- William Runge, 46, a manager at an educational cable network, Winston-Salem, NC: “The PR machine at NBC spent an enormous amount of time and effort convincing me that the ‘Today’ show team was actually part of my family, ‘America’s First Family,’ These did feel like family members. So this is how you are going to treat a member of your family?”
- Lyle Nelson, 40, a salesman from Avondale, AZ, on Lauer: He’s “not someone I’d like to have a beer with.”
- John Friia, 20, aspiring journalist from Malverne, NY: “There is something about Matt Lauer, whether or not he was the reason for Curry’s firing, that has changed and I do not like watching the show anymore.”
Bauder found a third of people who responded to the Twitter request “cited its content for their discontent.”