Today’s Must Read: Joe Hagan’s NY Mag Cover Story

by Demetria Irwin

Screen Shot 2013-03-27 at 4.59.05 PMThis week’s “good read award” (I just made that up) goes to “ Long Night at Today,” Joe Hagan’s cover story in the current New York Magazine. In the piece, Hagan gets deep into the backstory of Ann Curry’s now infamously mishandled departure from the Today Show and the public’s perception that Matt Lauer was behind the whole debacle. Not long after Curry’s firing, the Today Show lost its coveted most-watched morning show status to its arch-nemesis Good Morning America.

Even if you’re not a morning show junkie, “Long Night at Today” is still worth the read and here’s why:

It’s just darn good journalism.
Joe Hagan’s pen is ill. The end of his piece (which I won’t ruin for you) is perfect and brilliant and I’m not over-stating that. It’s nice to read a good, hearty, well-researched piece of actual journalism. Plus, Hagan even throws some serious shade at Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford (he calls their part of the show “tacky”), but it just comes off as honest instead of mean-spirited.

It’s a must-read for media workers and aspiring media workers.

Hagan delves into every corner of the Curry/Lauer situation and it takes him to every rung of the corporate ladder, from drivers and interns to executive producers and presidents. Maintaining and nurturing a career in media often requires chess-like strategic maneuvers and when you add “on-camera talent” to that and millions of dollars in advertisements and salaries, you’re in a whole ‘nother league. If you didn’t already know, just doing your job well, is not enough. You have to have the “right” people in your corner. Ann Curry didn’t have that. Ann Curry didn’t even have an agent!

It’s proof that some people are downright delusional. (Maybe even your boss.)
Ann Curry’s tearful and emotional goodbye on the Today Show was heartbreaking and hard to watch. An unnamed NBC producer Hagan talked to for his piece said that Curry purposely had a meltdown in order to sabotage the show once she left. He described her final Today Show on-camera moment as the equivalent of “strapping on C-4” dynamite. Wow. The woman had an understandably emotional reaction to her unceremonious exit from a show she’d worked on for years and this guy somehow manages to blame her for the ratings dip after she left.

Read Hagan’s piece and tell me what you think about it in the comments.

Demetria Irwin is a New York City-based freelance writer/editor. Follow her on Twitter,@Love_Is_Dope.

  • Jaz

    If Ann Curry purposely had a meltdown I only have one thing to say: Good.For.Her! If I was Ann Curry I would have not only had a meltdown but also supplied all the dirt for this article. The Today Show producers deserve it.

  • Jade Noelle

    I LOVE good journalism, whether on serious topics or pop culture. It’s nice to come by well-researched pieces. Sometimes great journalists can make you care about topics you would normally gloss over.

  • KristenEJ

    Thanks for sharing this. Sometimes I feel like I’m missing out on the media hustle, but now I’m ok being my own content producer. Please keep sharing good reads like this, plus your commentary.

  • starr

    I read this after another clutch writer tweeted it on monday? (i was sick can’t remember). I have to say it was one of the best pieces from a journalist i have read in a looooong time. I’m not into the media hustle, but i love a good read, and this was a good read. I was SHOCKED that Ann didn’t have agent. I actually read the line a few times, because I couldn’t believe it. I don’t believe that curry had that melt down on purpose…it was felt too real, raw…i could barely watch it, and couldn’t watch it rerun on other networks or sites. They said in the piece that she was known to be sensitive, so i should believe she played all of that up for the camera?! And dont get me started on not allowing her to send a tweet to robin roberts….ugh, still having to work with them weeks later, the egos of the producers, the higher ups……what a world

  • bequoted

    Oh my word…special shout out the the “some people are delusional” statement. Just the suggestion that the cover story is good journalism is enough for me to take a peek.

  • Writerdiva

    What a great read! I love the reporter’s opening! Thank you for sharing, Demetria.

  • Blaque217

    Yes, that was extremely well written and I think the most informative story I’ve read about the whole Ann Curry/ Today Show mess!
    I love what Ann tweeted: “When I despair I remember that throughout history, truth and love have always won.”
    In the end, she will be victorious. I don’t know about anyone else, but I liked her more than Katie Couric and 10 times more than Meredith Viera!

  • LN

    Just read it. So interesting!

  • Ann

    I just printed this article for tonight’s reading. Thanks for sharing!

  • Colette Marcheline (@Cognorati001)

    I was so disheartened to see her go. There are few minorities visible in the tv/infotainment world and Asians are probably the most discriminated against. There may never be another Asian female with as much prominence.

  • Black

    Great read!

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