For the second month in a row, WNYW/5 has beaten "The Today Show" in New York -- highly unusual in the nation's largest city and symptomatic of "Today's" ongoing struggles. Per Ch. 5's figures, "Today" is down 27 percent year to year (or March to March) in the critical midrange adult demographic (25-54). "Good Day" bested "Today" by nine percent in this category.
Normally we don't tarry with numbers in this space -- though I have covered "Today's," while pointing out that the decline long predated Ann Curry's ouster last June -- but if "Today" can't pull out a victory on its home turf, then problems are serious.
Meanwhile, I wrote a TV Zone post about Matt Lauer's recent efforts to spin his travails at "Today" the other day, and mentioned that Howard Kurtz's recent scoop for the Daily Beast had come from an "impromptu" call from Lauer to Howard.
Wrong! I now hear Kurtz had made the pitch months earlier and that NBC management did in fact know about it. Why is timing relevant? Because there's been some speculation that New York mag's subsequent piece on Lauer was even tougher because Kurtz's piece beat them to the punch.
This may be inside baseball to you, but it's important to NBC and Lauer as they struggle to contain the damage that continues to envelop the most important anchor at NBC.