Two weeks certainly aren’t a large sampling, but since the much-heralded – and over-celebrated – departure of the perky Katie Couric, NBC’s “Today” show actually widened its average daily viewing margin over second-place rival ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
As reported by the Associated Press (hat tip to Drudge): “‘Today’ beat second-place ‘Good Morning America’ of ABC by an average of 1.3 million viewers in the two weeks following Couric's last show on May 31, according to Nielsen Media Research. The NBC show's margin of victory (5.85 million to 4.92 million) was tighter during Couric's last full week on the air.”
Yikes. And, generating advertising dollars without Couric hasn’t been a problem either: “NBC also says it has earned about $25 million more in ‘upfront’ advertising sales for ‘Today’ in the fall than it did last year at this time, when the morning show was facing a stiffer challenge from ABC.”
Double yikes. Finally, one of NBC’s top brass might have added a bit of a parting shot at Katie to drive the point home:
“‘We've always said that the show was more than the sum of its parts,’ said NBC Universal chief Jeff Zucker on Monday. ‘It has weathered the departure of Barbara Walters, Tom Brokaw, Bryant Gumbel and now Katie Couric and often has come out of it stronger. And that's what you're seeing here.’"
That’s business exec talk for, “Don’t let the door hit you on your way out, Katie.”
Makes you wonder how the folks at CBS are feeling right about now.