It’s always interesting to hear backstories on our favorite television programs or films and the Today Show is no different.
Recently, former Today co-anchor Katie Couric revealed how she got wind that ultra right-wing conservative Ann Coulter was scheduled to be interviewed by Ann Curry, and the steps Couric immediately took.
‘Today’ staffers on Ann Curry’s ouster from the morning show
It’s well known at this point that Ann Curry was basically booted from Today, with the most popular rumor being that her co-anchor, Matt Lauer, had allegedly requested that Curry be shifted from the show.
To make matters worse, Good Morning America‘s ratings were skyrocketing, sending Today‘s producers and higher-ups into a panic.
The New York Times reported in 2013 about an anonymous assessment by Today‘s senior staffers and talent after Curry’s dismissal. One person wrote, “our sense of family is broken,” and another said, “Matt is being blamed, and some in our audience see Savannah as the younger replacement wife.”
Gayle King asked Ann Curry on CBS This Morning in 2018 if she would agree that Matt Lauer had derailed her career. Curry replied, “You should ask someone else, I’m not the one to ask about that … I don’t know what was all behind it. I do know that it hurt like hell.”
Katie Couric on whether she and Ann Curry keep in touch
In an interview with the “Everything Iconic with Danny Pellegrino” podcast this week, Couric addressed how often she stays in touch with her former colleague.
“I haven’t seen her,” Couric said. “Once in a while, I’ll run into her at things, but I think she’s working on a PBS show or something. You know, I always liked Ann, but we weren’t really very close friends. So I haven’t kept up with her, but I hope she’s doing well, I really do.”
Pellegrino asked Couric if she ever switches on the Today Show on weekday mornings.
“No, I don’t, shhhh,” Couric said laughing. “Not really, not too much. . . I really get most of my news on my telephone. I think I’ve just changed the way I consume news and information.”
A tale of two Anns: How Katie Couric rescued Curry from Coulter
In her interview with Pellegrino, the topic of Couric’s 2002 infamous interview with Ann Coulter came up.
Couric’s response to Coulter’s name? “Oh God, she was awful.”
Couric continued, “I find her to be a fascinating character, a lot of it is bravado and theater. I think she’s probably extremely conservative, but I also feel like her whole schtick is . . . she’s a provocateur.”
The mother of two thanked Pellegrino for bringing her testy conversation with Coulter up, as she wants to include it in her memoir, which she is hoping to publish by 2021.
“I’m writing my memoir and that reminds me, I definitely have to write about that interview, which was just so intense. . . Some people think she ate me alive and some people think that I ate her alive.”
The New York City resident then dropped the bombshell that it was actually Ann Curry who was slated to interview the contentious political personality that day.
Couric doesn’t explain why she insisted on handling the conversation. But it’s most likely because Coulter, in the book she was promoting, Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right, labeled Couric as the “affable Eva Braun of morning TV” and Couric wanted the author to explain what she meant by the stinging remark.
The former Today host perhaps also wanted to spare Ann Curry from what would have probably been a bloodbath of an interview with only Curry’s bones figuratively left afterward.
“Ann Curry was scheduled to do that interview,” Couric told Pellegrino, “and I told the woman who books authors [on Today], because Ann Coulter had a book coming out, I said, ‘No no no no no, I need to do that interview.’”