NBC’s ‘Today’ show changing leadership
NBC is changing the backstage leadership at its struggling “Today” show, which has consistently been behind ABC’s “Good Morning America” in the ratings since replacing Ann Curry as an anchor this summer.
An NBC executive, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the plan is not finalized, said Monday that Jim Bell will be replaced as the show’s executive producer. Veteran NBC News executive Alexandra Wallace will oversee management of “Today,” and a search is under way for Bell’s successor.
NBC Sports said Bell will become executive producer of NBC’s Olympics coverage, a role he took on this summer for the network’s successful coverage of the London Olympics.
The “Today” show had a 17-year winning streak in the morning ratings, the last six under Bell’s tutelage. But its ABC competitors made inroads this spring, and after the decision was made in June to have Savannah Guthrie replace Curry as Matt Lauer’s co-anchor, “Today” has fallen consistently behind in the ratings.
Prize-winning poet Jack Gilbert dies
Jack Gilbert, a prize-winning poet known for his clear and subtle verse, has died at age 87.
Publisher Alfred A. Knopf announced that Gilbert died Tuesday in Berkeley, Calif., after suffering for years from Alzheimer’s disease.
His many honors included the Yale Younger Poets prize for his 1962 debut, “Views of Jeopardy,” and a National Book Critics Circle award for “Refusing Heaven.” The Pittsburgh native also wrote the novels “My Mother Taught Me” and “Forever Ecstasy.”
Gilbert was a private man who rarely attended book parties or gave readings. He wrote often about Pittsburgh and his childhood, food, sex, and personal pain. His “Collected Poems” came out in March and was praised by The New York Times as among the year’s “most important” poetry books.