The Today Show has always been part hard news, part talk show, and part entertaining fluff. In its nearly 70 years, the only thing that really seems to change is the rotating cast of broadcast journalists, thanks to some real-time drama. Here are the scandals that rocked the line-up.
In late 1988, Today Executive Producer Marty Ryan asked anchor Bryant Gumbel to write up an assessment of what he thought worked and didn't work with the show. That's some standard workplace stuff, except that Gumbel's four-page memo leaked to the media in February of '89.
As the LA Times reported, Gumbel's thoughts on his show and his coworkers, which his coworkers got to read, were astute, darkly funny, and also, just plain mean.
Gumbel criticized Willard Scott, the jovial weatherman and the guy who gave shout-outs to viewers on their 100th birthdays, as a colleague who…
"Holds the show hostage to his assortment of whims, wishes, birthdays, and bad taste."
He recommended Scott be banned from the show's hard news-packed first hour, which Gumbel predicted Scott would find upsetting, a feeling that didn't truly matter, because Gumbel claimed Scott couldn't quote "leave this job and…get a better one." Consumer reporter David Horowitz was what Gumble called "a walking cliché," and Gumbel wasn't at all a fan of film critic Gene Shalit's celebrity interviews.
Except for some backstage personnel changes, things eventually blew over at Today, at least as far as Gumbel was concerned. He stayed with the show until 1997, nearly a decade after he wrote that catty memo.
Watch the video for more about huge scandals that completely shook the Today Show!
#TodayShow #NBC #Scandals
The Bryant Gumbel memo | 0:17
Jane Pauley is forced out | 1:45
Deborah Norville's hot minute | 1:42
Tom Cruise vs. Matt Lauer | 4:09
The ill-timed Kris Jenner interview | 5:27
Billy Bush and the Trump tape | 6:29
Tamron Hall's fast exit | 7:51
The Matt Lauer scandal | 8:47
Passing on Megyn Kelly | 10:08
Ann Curry's "professional torture" | 11:23
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