This isn’t just a morning show war anymore; it’s a morning show EP war. In today’s Washington Post, it starts with GMA EP Jim Murphy: “The ‘Today’ show can continue to cover the Anna Nicole Smith hearings… They do have an overabundance of tabloid stuff. They are just pandering because they’re not doing as well as they expected to do.”
Then the others chime in:
|Steve Friedman, CBS’s vice president of morning programming, says Vieira “hasn’t mastered the rhythms of morning television yet. She appears a little uneasy and a little uncomfortable. I do believe there is more talk and less news on the ‘Today’ show in this incarnation, and that has given us and ‘GMA’ an opportunity, at least in our own minds, to attack them on the news end.”|
Jim Bell, executive producer of “Today,” laughs off the criticism. He says “Dr. Frankenstein” could not have created a better co-host, noting that Vieira is a wife, a mother and a former “60 Minutes” correspondent. “She’s brought a wonderful personality and sense of humor and mischievousness,” he says.
Bell dismisses as “hogwash” suggestions that the show’s content has significantly changed and has little patience for sniping by Friedman, who has twice served as the “Today” producer. “Mr. Friedman and company are obsessed with us,” Bell says. “While they’re obsessed with us, we will pave the road for others to follow.”