‘Today’ Producer Jim Bell Defends Matt Lauer, Says ‘GMA’ Is a Tabloid

Sep 27, 2012  •  Post A Comment

"Today" producer Jim Bell tells The New York Times’ Bill Carter that the decision to remove Ann Curry from the NBC morning program was his call, and not co-host Matt Lauer’s, as some reports have suggested.

“It was definitely not Matt’s call," Bell said. “He is the host and does not have management responsibility. It was not his call. That was my call.”

Bell also dismissed reports that Lauer has berated staff recently and has taken on some directional control of the show. "These stories portraying Matt in a negative light are just preposterous,” Bell said.

As for "Good Morning America," Bell described his show as a “more serious show," while "GMA" is "doing something else.” When Carter asked whether he meant "GMA" is a tabloid-style show, Bell responded, "That’s what I’m saying," according to the story.

In response, an ABC News representative pointed to "GMA’s” ratings wins during the past six weeks. ABC also noted that "Today" aired an interview with Kris Jenner about her breast implants, which ran during a moment of silence for the victims of the 9/11 attacks.

Bell added that Curry is now in a role that she’s "naturally suited for," as she was removed from her previous job as co-host and now is a special correspondent.

"Today” isn’t facing budget cuts to pay Lauer’s reported $25 million a year, Bell added. As for a recent report that Lauer’s salary would be reduced, Bell noted, "That could not be more wrong,” the story says.

7 Comments

  1. This guy Jim Bell is out of his mind. The reason why I permanently abandoned the Today Show after the shameful humiliation of Ann Curry is that the Today Show has become a continuous stream of tabloid garbage. The show is worthless and its hosts are arrogant and unpleasant.

  2. Does Jim Bell really expect the public to drink NBC’s kool-aid? Nope not happening here!!
    Simply put ~~ the Today Show sucks big time!!!

  3. GMA is a tabloid? Really? According to the Today Show website, a story about Justin Beiber aired at 7:17AM today. So what does that make Today? A Justin Bieber story in the first half hour sounds like a tabloid to me! I’d be surprised if either show airs more than 15 minutes of real news a day. No wonder the average American knows more about Snooki than things that matter.

  4. “A more serious show.” Bell clearly isn’t watching the same ‘Today’ the rest of us are.

  5. CBS This Morning is the only morning news show worth watching, if you’re not an idiot. It’s not perfect, but it’s a lot less sleaze and a lot more “real news.”

  6. Absolutely correct! I watch CBS This Morning. No, it’s not perfect, but it makes an honest journalistic attempt to present hard news, even with interviews. CBS is the only place to be in the morning when it comes to the networks.

  7. Amen.

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