Open Letter to the NBC: What are you doing to your Today Show Brand?
Most of the loyal readers of Alpha Mom by now have already watched (and gagged) as poor Heather B. Armstrong had to endure being questioned by Kathie Lee Gifford on the Today Show. The entire time Heather was on TV all I could think was I can’t believe they are wasting Dooce’s time. No less, as I live “Twittered” and “Flickred” the event I connected with the thousand other fans of hers as they watched the Today Show at 10:30am when normally they would be, um, mothering. Then, I had empathy for all of the collective lost “mommy & me” time. See, Heather is very important to us.
Now, Kathie Lee (KLG) has had a nice TV career. She hosted Live with Regis and Kathie Lee for 15 years and that is damn impressive and nothing to sneeze at. But… she gave up that job in 2000 and so much has happened since. I nearly fell off my chair when I learned that KLG is now hosting the fourth hour (!!) of the Today Show. And, not in a good way. Am I the only one who doesn’t think KLG should be hosting a news talk show any longer? Do you guys actually watch your own shows? KLG admitted to “not liking computers.” Out loud, in 2008.
Or, maybe I’m totally off-base, NBC, and you realize that KLG is who she is and she appeals to a certain demographic of woman that you want to reach in America at 10 am. But, why oh why, are you messing with the Today Show brand? Diluting it by 1) extending it to the fourth hour, and 2) having Kathie Lee host, does not serve you well. Instead, create another show, with another title for her.
I have never considered the Today Show to be cutting edge, but at least it’s always had bright personalities like Bryant Gumbel, Katie Couric, and Matt Lauer running the place. Now, we have seen the statistics about online news stealing eyeballs from morning TV shows, but you don’t combat that by throwing in the towel and bringing KLG out of retirement thus weakening the Today Show. (There’s nothing Today about her or her POV. She’s all about yesterday.) Instead you go after the fresh stories– like you did on the mom blogging phenomenon– but you put it in the hands of capable journalists. Otherwise, your whole network falls into disrepair, as evidenced by the “Paid Programming” infomercials that kicked-in on the NY-NBC affiliate at 11am once Kathie Lee waved buh-bye.
Chief, cook and bottle-washer
Alpha Mom, LLC
Just in case you haven’t seen the footage…