Morning T.V. Wars

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Brian Stelter, New York Times media reporter and author of the new book Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV, discusses his book about the battle between Good Morning America and The Today Show, and the role of these morning shows in the national media landscape.


Brian Stelter

Comments [39]

Tom in the SW

Out of all of the comments here, what's the most amazing thing? That millions of people won't take their fascination with media gossip and put that energy into something constructive. There are more important things in the world than Matt Laurer's salary.

Apr. 24 2013 05:25 PM

Morning shows have become so important because between 5-8 am people might be home, frantically getting ready to go to work.

Evening News Hour? That airs you are at work or stuck on New Jersey Transit.

Apr. 23 2013 06:35 PM
snuggie from nyc

ok, so, it's been pretty slow of late and you are resorting to the morning tv are topic suggestions for the BL show:

You could ask what charities people regularly give to and why? you could ask people about mta's endless sucking of funds, you could ask about people we know who are leaving this city and have had it with ridiculous rents that keep rising over the crumbiest spaces, you could ask people to recommend a good bistro/cafe/social website/public space in the city/non-fat yogurt..

Apr. 23 2013 01:11 PM

I'm with Carol.

Although I admit I did kind of get into the alligator story, against my will.

But Carol's right. Slow real-news day?

Apr. 23 2013 11:48 AM

Oops, here's the much richer unbleeped version:

Apr. 23 2013 11:39 AM

In The Papers! Yes, I miss that on NY1, since I went OTA because of cable's outrageous cost.

Why doesn't someone else do that sort of thing, showing the AM papers, picking out stories?

I Tivo "Tech Bytes" on ABC, at about 4:45 for a few minutes every day.

Anyone interested enough to post here--especially those who hate banter--MUST catch this viral video of 2 anchors, one brand-new, in some North Dakota station:

Apr. 23 2013 11:37 AM

dboy, lol. I am hitting it only once. It's a browser problem....long story :-)

Apr. 23 2013 11:37 AM

I listen to NPR faithfully every morning while getting ready for work and may soon quit. An interminable interview with a father whose young son had a run-in with an alligator (the kid's fine, the alligator's dead)and "coffee week" have really put me off---is there nothing more important going on in the world?

Apr. 23 2013 11:29 AM

Rich_P ~

Thanks but, just hit the "Post Comment" button only once.

Apr. 23 2013 11:29 AM
John A

I caught Katic Couric mocking the outfits of reporters on the CBS evening news. Turnabout may have been fair play, but that lack of focus on the news was instrumental in my dropping that show to this day.

Apr. 23 2013 11:27 AM

Who knew that dboy was a philosopher too? I agree 100% on the diet of ignorance.

Apr. 23 2013 11:26 AM

Who knew that dboy was a philosopher too? I agree 100% on the diet of ignorance.

Apr. 23 2013 11:26 AM

What happens to a human brain when it wakes and bakes on this Korporate Media Krap®?!?!?!

Apr. 23 2013 11:26 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

When it comes to anti-US propaganda, Iran's PRESS TV beats Amy Goodman's Democracy Now hands down! If you really want a very slick and well done anti-US and anti-Israel propaganda organ, you must see PRESS TV online (or via a Roku like I have).

Apr. 23 2013 11:24 AM
Henry from Manhattan

NY1 in the morning if the TV is on, mostly for weather and I like the segment In The Papers where they literally read sections of various newspapers on television.

Jamie Shupak! Woot!

I don’t have paid cable, but NY1 comes in through the cable wire stuck into the TV.

No desire to watch other morning news shows.

Apr. 23 2013 11:24 AM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

I stick to NPR and I particularly like radio in the morning when I'm getting ready for work because I can't sit in one place. Radio is around me while I'm doing various things in the house and I don't have to stop moving. And, of course, NPR is the best.

Apr. 23 2013 11:24 AM
elaine from li

I loathe banter!!!!!!!!!!!!

Apr. 23 2013 11:22 AM

A steady diet of this media junk food results in obesity of ignorance.

Apr. 23 2013 11:22 AM

I advocate for mutually assured destruction.

Apr. 23 2013 11:20 AM

Morning Media Diet

Democracy Now with Amy Goodman on WBAI
Washington Journal on C-SPAN

Apr. 23 2013 11:19 AM

Good to know about a more serious CBS version.

Back when I watched ABC, I well remember Chris Rock coming on shortly after George Stephanopoulos first joined GMA. Rock said, with that great big grin:

"What happened to you, George? You were with major figures, heads of state. Now you're interviewing Snooki! What happened to you?"


Apr. 23 2013 11:19 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Since I don't have cable TV, before Brian comes on, I often watch Iran's PRESS TV via my Roku box. I just love Iranian anti-American and anti-Israel propaganda. It's a very slick, and well produced news outlet, and gives some insight into what the Islamofascist regime is saying and possibly thinking.

Apr. 23 2013 11:19 AM
Nancy from NYC

I'm solidly within the demographic sought after by these shows, but I cannot (CANNOT) imagine ever turning on any of them. This is garbage programming. I have no interest in inviting these squares (the hosts) into my home and I'm not at all interested in the low-brow culture and lame reporting they epitomize. For news that's generally informative and thus worthwhile, I say stick to PBS, BBC, al Jazeera, NPR, NY Times and online-only sources. Also, hey, why watch commercials?

Apr. 23 2013 11:18 AM


How is it that an apparently intelligent "journalist" waste SO many brain cells on something so completely INANE!!

Apr. 23 2013 11:18 AM
francyne pelchar from Pelham Bay Park

I listen to public radio, that's it. When the radio isn't on, I play CDs.

Apr. 23 2013 11:17 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Morning shows are a joke. Doing 3 minute interviews with serious people to do more gossip segments or how to make a fat-free burrito?

George Stephanapolous and Charlie Rose must be getting paid ALOT to sell their soul.

Apr. 23 2013 11:17 AM
Peter in Washington Heights from Washington Heights


I only listen to radio in the mornings! WNYC, WFUV and WCBS-AM.

Apr. 23 2013 11:16 AM
RUCB_Alum from Central New Jersey

No morning TV for me...Time is taken doing other stuff. I do my local radio program and NPR. This segment seems to be a debate of chocolate over vanilla. I mean really.

One serious question would be when does morning TV start? When I was a kid these shows were 7am-9pm. Now they start at 4:30 or 5am...If you stayed up late enough to catch any of Fallon, you are sleep deprived.

Apr. 23 2013 11:16 AM
Linda from Jersey Shore

We switched after 20plus years of the Today show. CBS this Morning is FAR superior.
Lots of my friends have done the same. Strange, we never discussed it before and we all made the change at around the same time.

Apr. 23 2013 11:16 AM
art525 from Park Slopeas

And of course Brian has to make a disclaimer that he isn't familiar with the morning shows. Yes Brian we know you are too sophisticated to indiulge in them. Brian never misses a chance to tout that he is for all that is good and true.

Apr. 23 2013 11:16 AM

Before moving to NYC, I watched Today as I was getting ready. Then I switched to WNYC. I worked near the Today set, and after having a bad experience with that job, I didn't want that visual reminder, so on the rare occasion that I'd watch morning TV, I'd pick GMA. Then, while doing a quick morning treadmill workout, GMA showed commercials for about 15 minutes of my 20 minute workout. Next time, it will be the Today show (or, most likely, Netflix).

Apr. 23 2013 11:16 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

All of these morning shows are driven by publicists, not journalists.

Apr. 23 2013 11:15 AM
dave from brooklyn

i watch cbs this morning because i know i won't see any kardashians

Apr. 23 2013 11:11 AM
antonio from baySide

Morning Joe never has segments with smart people (Paul Krugman, Senator Sanders, etc) at the same time with Joe Scarbourough...Never. He is pretty hyperbolic and visceral...poor Mika...

I listen to Democracy Now, The takeAway, This show and Lopate in the morn, and FreshAir, TalkBack! in the afternoon!

Apr. 23 2013 11:09 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

It would be great if WNYC installed an edit button for comments.

Apr. 23 2013 11:09 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

Morning tv shows are like Easter candy. It's ok to indulge once a year, but if you watch it every day you're going to get mighty sick.

Also, tv makes you STOOPID!!

Apr. 23 2013 11:04 AM
roy from Queens

@Wilbur: I agree with you. Give me NPR or some animated action show, instead of the assembly line morning TV shows (though CBS has the better quality one).

Apr. 23 2013 10:45 AM
Wilbur Blount from Brooklyn

I stopped watching AM tv when Billy Bush started anchoring the Today Show. I have grown tired of the networks playing musical chairs with anchors. Also, Ann Curry's dismissal was just shameful. I stick to sports talk and NPR in the morning.

Apr. 23 2013 10:25 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

Morning TV wars?

I hope they all lose.

Apr. 23 2013 09:55 AM

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