Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Meredith Viera makes debut on "Today"

NBC showcases morning news

Wednesday is a big day for NBC's "Today Show." Meredith Viera joins Matt Lauer at the anchor desk. Viera replaces Katie Couric, who left "Today" to anchor CBS Evening News. Viera is a former CBS newswoman and former team member of "The View."

As Viera makes her official debut, NBC will reveal a completely rebuilt studio in Rockefeller Center. The extreme studio makeover takes place as the network prepares to broadcast in high definition. More from the Washington Post.

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Alina said...

I wish changing anchormen would be such a big issue here. Even some Romanian ones bring high audiences, I feel like they have this habit to move from one TV channel to another all the time. You end up associating them only with their style, not with a channel. Same is true for the Radio "voices".

Deb S. said...

Alina: Thanks for commenting about the changing anchor issue in Romania. What you describe often happens in the U.S., not with just news anchors but with reporters and behind-the-scenes editorial people.

For me, changes in network news personnel seem to be easier to track. Changes on the local news level are so frequent that I believe I'll never really know all of the on-air talent. And I spent a career in radio and TV news.

BTW, you are right. The same goes for radio. Here today, gone tomorrow.

Ian Lidster said...

Have you noticed the similarity in appearance between Ms. Viera and Ms. Couric? Just something that struck me the other day. Hmm, maybe that was planned. But, you know, I still miss Jane Pauley whom I was madly in love with.


Deb S. said...

Ian: You're not the only person who sees similarities between Viera and Couric. Frankly, I don't see it. I'd be interested in hearing that you think the similarities are.

As for Jane, I understand why you gush over her. Jane is a class act and gorgeous. I'm a big Jane Pauley fan, too.

No_the_game said...


I thought you dropped off from the face of the earth!!!

We used to leave a comment on each others blog. :)

Hwo have you been?


Rose said...

I'm a Jane Pauley fan too. I just didn't see the big issue with Couric. She was okay as is Viera, but what's the big deal? It appears that Couric is the most popular though with audiences.

Deb S. said...

No_the_game! How are you?? It is good to hear from you. I've been a little low-key lately.

I see that your blog still has that "shy" quality about it. LOL I'll try to do a better job of leaving comments.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope all is well with you.

Rose: When you have a major anchor/host change at the network level, expect some hype. In Katie's case, I saw a figure indicating the CBS had spent some $10 million promoting Katie's new gig with CBS Evening News.

As I mentioned earlier, I am a huge Jane Pauley fan. I still remember her first day on "Today," though. Jane was in her mid-20's. It was unheard of for someone so young to land such a key positon.

Jane is the first to say that she grew into the job. I remember being very sad on her last day with "Today."

As for Katie when she was on "Today," I think her perky personality resonated with her NBC audience.

That's show biz.

EXSENO said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
EXSENO said...

I think the change has been a good one, don't you? At least for the today show. Everyone seems to be clicking really well and Mat is smiling again, a lot. lol

I hope that katie is happy there, but I think the picture they posted of her and then retracted saying it was a mistake for making her look twenty pounds lighter was a nasty little statement, that backfired in their face.

Deb S. said...

Exseno: I think Meredith is very capable. However, after watching Katie for so many years, it's going to take me a little time to get used to Meredith.

I have never seen Matt not smiling. He is a consummate professional - very charming and very engaging.

I think the month-long farewell to Katie was overdone, but I'm sure that was NBC's idea, not Katie's. I also think the welcoming to Meredith was a little overdone, but that's how the news biz operates.

I wish Meredith well as she settles in. She is working with a great team.

About Katie's photo: I think that incident is just one example of how tacky and ill-guided TV marketing folks can be.

(An aside: I still think the co-host position should have been offered to Ann Curry. She's very talented. She and Matt clearly have chemistry.)