Like Bill Carter chronicling the late night wars in his classic The Late Shift, star New York Times reporter Brian Stelter reveals all the dish and dirt behind the polite smiles and perky demeanors of morning television in his much-anticipated...
TOP OF THE MORNING
When America wakes up with personable and charming hosts like Matt Lauer, Robin Roberts, and George Stephanopoulos, it's hard to imagine their show bookers having to guard a guest's hotel room all night to prevent rival shows from poaching. But that is just part of the intense reality New York Times staff writer Brian Stelter reveals in TOP OF THE MORNING--a gripping look at the most competitive time slot in television, complete with Machiavellian booking wars and manic behavior by the producers, executives, and stars.
Stelter is behind the scenes as Ann Curry replaces Meredith Vieira on the Today show, only to be fired a year later in a fiasco that made national headlines. He's backstage as Good Morning America launches an attack to dethrone Today and end the longest consecutive winning streak in morning television history. And he's there as Roberts is diagnosed with a crippling disease-on what should be the happiest day of her career.
Featuring exclusive material about current and past morning stars like Katie Couric and all the major players of the 2000s, TOP OF THE MORNING illuminates what it takes to win the AM, when every single viewer counts, tons of jobs are on the line, and hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake. Among the questions Stelter answers for the first time: Why did NBC really decide to oust Curry from her chair? What was her replacement Savannah Guthrie's reaction? Was Matt Lauer really at fault?
So grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and discover the dark side of the sun.
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Brian Stelter is a media reporter at The New York Times, where he writes about television and the web, both for the newspaper and for the blog Media Decoder. He was a subject of the 2011 documentary Page One: Inside the New York Times. Before joining the Times in 2007, he was the founder and editor of TVNewser, the preeminent blog about the television news industry. He sold TVNewser to Mediabistro in 2004 and ran it until his 2007 graduation from Towson University.From Booklist:
Near the end of this fight-to-the-death story of Good Morning America versus the Today Show, Stelter writes, “relatively few people knew who the warring executives were.” And that’s part of the problem with this book. Although Stelter, a media reporter at the New York Times, makes a heroic effort to identify the suits, it’s still fairly easy to mix up the players, whose machinations make up a big part of the story. More familiar, of course, are the stars of the broadcasts: Matt Lauer, Ann Curry, Robin Roberts, et al. The focus here is on the decision (dubbed Operation Bambi) to get Curry out of the chair next to Lauer, who felt no chemistry with her. At the same time, Today, which had been number one in the ratings for more than 800 weeks, was beginning to hear the footsteps of second-place GMA closing the gap. After Today dumped—excuse me, promoted—Curry and Robin Roberts fell ill with a blood disease, the battle became more pitched. Stelter injects himself into the narrative, which aims for a breezy tone (“some crazy shit is going down”). With more than 350 interviews under his belt (though no Lauer or Curry), he does have insider props. In the end, however, while this account does have its fascinating moments, they would have easily fit into a long magazine article. Give this to fans of Bill Carter’s The Late Shift (1994) and The War for Late Night (2010) about a similar battle for nighttime ratings supremacy. --Ilene Cooper
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Descripción Grand Central Publishing, 2013. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería M1455512877
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