Mike Kueber's Blog

August 4, 2013

Sunday Book Review #103 – Top of the Morning by Brian Stelter

Filed under: Book reviews — Mike Kueber @ 6:53 pm
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Although I have generally found subtitles to be revealing, the subtitle of this book – “Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV” – is a bit hyperbole.  In his Acknowledgments sections, the author Brian Stelter, a NY Times media reporter, talks about his initial idea to write a book about television news and then being channeled by agents and publishers into writing about the morning news.  Stelter may feel like the morning news, especially with the demise of Ann Curry last year, is dramatic stuff for a book, or even a movie, but I found the story to be relatively mundane and pedestrian.  Personalities in ratings-dependent jobs will operate under a lot of stress, but nowhere near that of athletes.  When someone like Curry doesn’t deliver good ratings, she will be replaced, but don’t expect us to cry for her like NY Times columnist Nicholas Kristof did:

  • The way it was handled by NBC was unforgivable.  They humiliated her; they treated her in a way that I thought was utterly insulting.”

I suspect most normal people would not be insulted by being removed from the Today anchor desk at $4 million a year with her contract ending shortly and being given a new five-year contract as a roving anchor for $5 million a year.  Insult me like that anytime you want.


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