Poor Ann Curry. The Today Show has been tanking in the ratings and she's taking the fall. Rumors are swirling that Ann will be given the heave-ho as co-anchor of the morning show any minute now. Ann took the seat next to Matt Lauer only last year, when Meredith Vieira left. Since then, the show's ratings have been on a downward slide. Rival Good Morning America, for the first time in 16 years, has more viewers.
But is this Ann's fault? Most insiders say probably not. It could have just been GMA's time. But some execs have said (anonymously, of course!) that Ann doesn't seem comfortable with Matt Lauer. No one likes to get fired, but it's hard to feel too sorry for Ann since word has it she is going to receive a sweet little going away prize: $10 million. Boo hoo, amiright?
Ann has signed a three-year contract that would have paid her $20 million. Presumably, she's been paid for the first year. And the last year would have paid her $10 million. If she gets that to leave, it's almost like she's getting a one year paid vacation.
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Granted, money can't make up for the loss of a job -- especially a dream job like this one. Ann has been on the show for a long time and there's no guarantee she will ever get another job close to this one. However, she's a great journalist with a charasmatic onscreen presence, and she has many fans. I imagine that, like Conan O'Brien, she will end up somewhere good. I don't think we'll see Ann on the unemployment line.
Many Americans have gone through what Ann is now going through -- and they have nothing but maybe two weeks salary and limited unemployment payments between them and destitution. And far too many Americans have to go without health insurance as soon as they lose their jobs. I think Ann will be able to buy some health insurance -- and a mansion.
It's humiliating to be canned -- especially when you had just gotten promoted. Especially when you're doing your job, and doing it well, and nothing but the randomness of TV ratings is responsible for your getting the boot.
But with this kind of a consolation prize, Ann fortunately won't have to suffer like most jobless Americans do.
What do you think of Ann's reported payout?
Image via Kjunstorm/Flickr