Friday, June 30, 2006
"GMA" Beats "Today"...For a Day
I once fought with an editor who wanted me to write a "Good Morning America" is about to beat "Today" in the ratings story. This was maybe four or five years ago. I argued vociferously that it wasn't the case -- I said we'd already written that story every year for years and we could keep writing it, but it wasn't going to come true until someone from "Today" left -- and even then it wasn't a given. People who watch morning TV are truly creatures of habit. Now, with Katie Couric leaving "Today" and Charlie Gibson leaving "GMA" for the evening news slot, what's remarkable is how steady the ratings for both have been. "Today" doesn't seem to have missed its stride and Meredith Viera hasn't even started yet. Gibson could enjoy a little victory: his goodbye show beat "Today" head-to-head. At least for one day, "GMA" was tops. Of course, it's odd to see both shows lose their stars to the evening news -- morning TV has a bigger audience, much more airtime for all types of stores and makes MUCH more money. With the 24 hour news cycle, it's like leaving major league baseball to go play in the minors. By the way, I won the argument with my editor -- but they never forgave me for being right.