The inside scoop on the departure of Ann Curry from NBC News

She made a notorious, tearful exit from the Today show after reports Matt Lauer orchestrated her firing as co-host. Now she’s finally left NBC—but the backbiting hasn’t stopped.

Daily Beast:

The other shoe has dropped on Ann Curry’s benighted yet lucrative television career.

NBC News confirmed a report Tuesday by the New York Post’s Page Six column that Curry, 58, has left the network after protracted negotiations to terminate her contract, which the gossip column said was worth up to $12 million a year—a figure that a veteran NBC News executive confirmed to the Daily Beast.

For Curry, it was a poignant yet predictable outcome. She has been on the air relatively little since her tearful June 2012 exit from the Today show, a humiliating firing that was widely blamed on co-host Matt Lauer (including by Curry, judging from her on-air body language) and precipitated a disastrous viewer exodus from the once-dominant morning program.

Still, Tuesday’s leak of her departure—after a quarter century at the network news division—caught NBC by surprise, and executives scrambled to put the best face on yet another airing of NBC News’s dirty laundry.

I am sincerely grateful to NBC News for allowing me to offer viewers a vast and diverse body of work, including a depth of humanitarian reporting I understand still resonates,” NBC’s press release quotes Curry, who, the release said, is developing a multi-platform media startup that will offer content to NBC as well as to other television and online outlets. “It has been a privilege to work with so many good and talented people at the network and I look forward to what we will do ahead. At the same time, I can’t wait to expand my reach and work with people I admire in other places.”

The press release, which noted that Curry’s new company will have a business arrangement with NBC Universal, also quotes Pat Fili-Krushel, chairman of the NBC Universal News Group. “We’re proud to support Ann in her new venture, and we look forward to more of her exceptional storytelling,” Fili-Krushel says.

Starting in 1997 and for 13 years, Curry was the news reader on the iconic morning show; she had hoped to succeed Katie Couric as Lauer’s co-host when Meredith Vieira got the gig in 2005. Beyond her Today news anchor job, she had established herself as an intrepid, award-winning correspondent who traveled to war zones, grilled third-world dictators and U.S. presidents, and regularly put herself in harm’s way in order to spotlight the world’s disenfranchised, poverty-stricken, sickness-plagued and abused.

In 2011, NBC executives finally gave Curry the Today co-hosting job she wanted—her contract permitted her to leave if they didn’t—but it soon became apparent to the network suits that Curry and Lauer lacked chemistry.

Since her cringe-worthy on-camera farewell, in which she didn’t bother to hide her disaffection for her co-host, the network has been beset by a series of embarrassing press accounts in which Lauer was compelled to repeatedly deny that he engineered Curry’s removal, and the program was portrayed as unraveling.

Two and a half years later, Today is still trying to recover from the damage.

Ann is very likable—she’s a good person,” a veteran NBC News executive told the Daily Beast, “but a lot of people at NBC didn’t like that she and her representatives waged a campaign solely targeted at Matt Lauer and that it just never stopped. Whether she personally orchestrated it, I don’t know, but there’s no question she was involved. And as far as anybody knows, it continues to this day. It was unfair when she started it, and it’s unfair today.”

This executive added that it was then-news president Steve Capus, not Lauer, who determined that Curry’s co-hosting gig wasn’t working and that a change was necessary. She was informed of Capus’s decision many weeks before her departure, and NBC executives toiled long and hard with Curry’s representatives to ensure her bright future at the network, including providing her with a rich contract.

Nobody put a gun to her head to sign the contract,” the veteran executive said. “There were extensive conversations about what the company would say and would Ann would say, and then it all kind of fell apart, and she never did anything to set the record straight.”

The executive added: “Everybody understood the emotion, of course. Ann cared deeply about the kind of work she was doing…She is a good person and she wears her heart on her sleeve, and her emotions were on full display that terrible morning on the Today show…But she never tried to move off of that, and she played the blame game, and never considered her own actions.”

That Curry apparently continued to hold a grudge against Lauer- an impression that was painfully conspicuous during an awkward and chilly joint appearance during NBC’s Olympics coverage a few weeks after her goodbye—was especially galling to the suits, because she was taking so much of the company’s money. “Many people thought it was hypocritical,” said the executive.

Not surprisingly, a source close to Curry vigorously disputed those assertions, and added: “We’re not going to into a ‘he said, she said’ thing. All I can tell you is people can say anything they want to minimize what Ann’s done…but the facts speak for themselves. Ann’s coming off a year where she’s been nominated for five Emmys. She produced a report on climate change that was extremely well-received…she had an interview with the president of Iran. So Ann’s had an incredible year and she’s taking that momentum into this new venture that’s going to allow her to appear on all sorts of platforms in addition to NBC—other networks and other news outlets. This is going to be a great move for Ann.”

 

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2014 V3 Digital Media Conference

 

V3con Honorees 2014 600x312 LA Ticket Giveaway: 2014 V3 Digital Media Conference

8Asians:

 

V3 Digital Media Conference is coming up right around the corner. The event kicks off on Friday June 20th with an Opening Awards Reception. Then, the all day conference takes place on Saturday June 21st. Both events are being held at the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo (LA). Here is the website for more info: http://v3con.com/.

Registration includes admission to Friday’s Opening Awards Reception and Saturday’s all day conference, including breakfast and lunch on Saturday. Check out the full schedule and the list of speakers.

Broadcast journalist Ann Curry, Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold and singer-songwriter Judith Hill will be honored at the 2014 V3 Digital Media Conference, presented June 20-21 in celebration of Asian American contributions to media and culture.

 

The third annual conference, presented by the Los Angeles Chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association, recognizes the “Vision. Visibility. Voice” of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in digital and social media, with the goal of showcasing the most influential and interesting Asian Americans online while connecting diverse communities and building new media skills.

 

The two-day event, which drew more than 500 attendees in each of its first two years, will consist of a gala evening awards reception Friday, June 20, to be followed by an all-day conference on Saturday, June 21, both at the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo in downtown Los Angeles.

 

“As in past years, we are privileged to bring together such prominent and influential honorees,” said Jocelyn “Joz” Wang, founder and executive director-advisor of V3con. They have taken diverse paths toward a common destination of advancing the stature of Asian Americans and our culture.”

The three “V” awards given at V3con recognize the contributions, talents and values of path-breaking individuals who have enabled Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to become recognized as a significant force in media and the broader community.

 

This year’s recipients will be recognized at the Friday event for their roles in significantly raising the profile of the AAPI community in the mainstream.

 

Check out this link:

2014 V3 Digital Media Conference

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Five Asian American TV news broadcasters named in Mediaite’s “Most Sexy” list

 

Richard LuiMost sexy” lists are always a mixed blessing for journalists. On the one hand, you want to be known for your journalistic work, and not your physical attributes. On the other hand, who wouldn’t be flattered to be included.

Mediaite came out with its list of top 50 most sexiest television news broadcasters and at least five Asian Americans made the  grade.

Perhaps the most significant is that at least two of those on the list are Asian American men, breaking the stereotype that AAPI men are effeminate and nerdy.

Included is MSNBC news anchor Richard Lui. Lui was described by Mediaite as “underrated,” having delivered both “hard-hitting and entertaining segments.”  It’s not uncommon to see the San Franciscan donate his time to many community causes including AAPI Vote and the Chinatown YMCA in San Francisco.

Also making the list is CNN medical correspondent, Sanjay Gupta.Sanjay Gupta

Gupta is also seen at times filing reports for CBS’ 60 Minutes and has been particularly busy this year reporting on medical marijuana and grilling Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Obamacare.

Among the women making the top 50 are NBC’s Ann Curry, Bloomberg TV’s Betty Liu, and MSNBC’s Alex Wagner.

Alex Wagner

Wagner’s mother is an immigrant from Burmese and her father is of German & Irish descent. She is described by Mediaite as a “casual mix of beauty and brains.”

Betty LiuBetty Liu anchors Bloomberg In the Loop every morning and was the youngest ever Taiwan Bureau Chief for Dow Jones Newswire.

Ann Curry

Ann Curry received kudos for her interview with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

It’s possible there are other AAPI’s on the list, but I have been unable to confirm their ethnicity. You can read the entire list on Mediaite.

Check out this link:

Five Asian American TV news broadcasters named in Mediaite’s “Most Sexy” list

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Lifetime turning Today Show exposé / Ann Curry saga into a TV movie

Ann Curry‘s national nightmare is heading to Lifetime.The cabler is developing a made-for-TV movie about the behind-the-scenes drama that led to Curry’s very public firing from the Today show.

The pic, based on Brian Stelter’s book Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV, will also depict Good Morning America‘s rise to AM supremacy.

According to TVNewser, Liz Gateley and Tony DiSantos — the team behind Ke$ha: My Crazy Beautiful Lifeand My Life Is a Lifetime Movie — will exec-produce.

The project is in the very early stages, which means Gately and DiSantos have plenty of time to comb the comments section below for casting tips.

Check out this link:

Lifetime turning Today Show exposé / Ann Curry saga into a TV movie

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NBC’s Ann Curry scores exclusive interview with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani

 

NBC’s Ann Curry scored a major exclusive interview with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

Curry beat out CNN’s Christiane Amanpour who announced a week earlier that she would be the first to interview Rouhani.

The interview was the first Rouhani has given to any Western journalist since he was elected. Speaking to Andrea Mitchell, Curry said it was his first interview of any kind for years. It was arguably Curry’s biggest story since being removed from the anchor chair on Today in 2012.

Check out this link:

NBC’s Ann Curry scores exclusive interview with Iranian President

Ann Curry