Orange Ya Glad It’s Today?

by

NBC’s The Today Show is sick of waking up in second place. The iconic morning program has unveiled a new studio, a new logo and a new cast member hoping to regain the ratings they lost last year after Ann Curry was abruptly dismissed from the anchor desk. According to a New York Times article published on September 12, 2013, “the female-centric ‘Today’, which was already slipping, lost about a quarter of its audience and became stuck in second place after Ms. Curry left;  last week, ‘G.M.A.’ had about 5.3 million viewers each day, about 750,000 more than ‘Today’. Among viewers ages 25 to 54, the ones coveted by advertisers, ‘G.M.A.’ led by 118,000.” This significant drop in ratings has not come cheap to NBC’s parent company, Comcast. It has been reported that tens of millions of dollars in advertising revenue has been lost to ABC’s parent, Walt Disney Company.

TODAY SHOW

If The Today Show expects to regain the interest of their audience and their equally important advertisers, they should do the following:

  • Be sure that their mission statement is being delivered in a clear and precise manner.
  • Connect with their viewers in a way that their competitors are not.
  • Give people a reason to tune in with them every morning instead of checking their mobile phone for the latest breaking news, or even worse, watching their competitor’s programs.

Deborah Turness, the new president of NBC News, who has been heavily involved with the redesign of the program, said on Thursday that “A fresh orange coat of paint alone won’t do it.” Her three buzzwords to describe “Today” are substance, uplift and connection.

I couldn’t agree more.  Over the past year, it has been a bit of a challenge to remain loyal to the show due to the amount of changes. Embarrassingly, I got a bit emotional when Ann Curry said her goodbyes last June. I couldn’t believe that a reporter with such an impressive resume was being publicly humiliated by her peers… or at least that’s how the media was portraying it. That being said, I have continued to watch every morning because I have always found “Today” to be more fresh and contemporary than its competitors “Good Morning America” or “CBS This Morning”.

While their new initiatives have been set with the best intentions, I must say, it took a moment for my eyes to adjust to the bright orange set when I first saw it (a sea of bright orange was not exactly the most enjoyable thing to tune into after first waking up in the morning). Along with the new set, Carson Daly, the former host of MTV’s “TRL” and current host of NBC’s reality show “The Voice,” was introduced as the newest member of The Today Show team. In an effort to tap into social media trends, Daly will be engaging viewers on Facebook and Twitter and updating anchors on what’s buzzing on the internet.

These elements seem in balance with the mission around “substance, uplift (so much orange!) and connect.”  If these themes stay on track, The Today Show could regain its coveted position as “number one” – and the advertising dollars that go with it.

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