NBC Cans Today Chief After 10 Weeks

Reasons behind Jamie Horowitz's exit unclear
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 18, 2014 8:53 AM CST
NBC Cans Today Chief After 10 Weeks
This Feb. 24, 2014, photo released by NBC shows, from left, Carson Daly, Natalie Morales, Savannah Guthrie, Matt Lauer, Al Roker, and Ronan Farrow on "Today" in New York.   (AP Photo/NBC, Peter Kramer)

The new head of the Today show joined the program only 10 weeks ago—sort of—and he's already been dropped, the New York Times reports. Jamie Horowitz and NBC News President Deborah Turness "have come to the conclusion that this is not the right fit," Turness said in a staff memo last night. Others at NBC News say the decision wasn't mutual; instead, they suggest, top figures at NBC News wanted the new GM out before he even formally began. Horowitz was coming to NBC from ESPN, which is owned by Disney, which barred Horowitz from officially beginning the job until Dec. 1; the Times notes he started holding meetings with his new colleagues in September.

One NBC insider describes awful meetings in which producers were asked to "give him the names of other producers who should be fired." But another source tells the New York Daily News Horowitz was given the boot by those fearing change: "He knew what needed to be done to improve the show and truly compete with Good Morning America." The Today show has been struggling to regain its ratings dominance over GMA (ABC is also owned by Disney), and Horowitz's hiring was likely aimed at reclaiming the crown it lost in 2012. NBC executives tell the Times that tension surrounded his arrival. Recent reports had suggested that he was being considered as a replacement for Turness, and an insider tells the Hollywood Reporter that the pair didn't get along. (More NBC stories.)

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