Media Audit: The Today Show

September 11, 2007

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If we had a dollar for every time a client asked us to get them on the “Today” show, we’d have, well maybe $367. In recognition of her one year anniversary hosting the program, Meredith Vieira has a feature in today’s NY Times. After taking three weeks off this summer and needing to get back to a “Today” show sleep schedule, “…she downed a large dose of NyQuil, the better to put her to sleep.”

When asked about her decision to continue on with rival Disney/ABC program “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” Vieira responded,

“I love ‘Millionaire,’ and sometimes I get angry when people say ‘game show’ in a pejorative way. I think that’s baloney.”

Fair enough. Taking over for Katie Couric and staying #1 in morning TV is no easy task. “Millionaire” must seem like a cake-walk compared to “Today.”

What is significant here is that NBC execs are satisfied enough with Vieira’s performance to let her renew a contract with a broadcast rival. Nielsen reported that since her premiere at “Today” the show’s audience has lost about 360,000 viewers (or 6.2 percent), but numbers are also down across the boards.

What do PR people need to know when pitching the Today Show? (we can’t give you all the details – people sell books and build careers off of that, but here are a few tips.)

Like all media, read (watch) before you pitch. The following stories all have numerous PR placements:

Elizabeth Mayhew’s, “Gear up your kids for back-to-school cool.” Cindy Johnson’s, “So long, T-shirts! Spice up your sleepwear.” In Style magazine scores big with, “City cool: Fall fashion trends from coast to coast.”

Pitch through iVillage (via Wikipedia): On September 4, 2007, Universal Television Stations and iVillage officially announced the relaunch of IVillage Live as In the Loop with iVillage..the show has moved to Chicago and will be live with a studio audience at WMAQ (and syndicated nationally.)

McKay Heim is a talent booker and producer there. She is looking for environmental pitches for their “green” week in November and just about anything else that will resonate with their mostly female audience:

“Our show is going to be seamless with ivillage.com, the top online destination for women with over 17 million unique visitors monthly. We will be covering the same topics you see on ivillage.com and that women care about. Since we are part of NBC, there will be a big emphasis on celebrity, pop culture, fashion, entertainment and all the topics that are featured on http://www.ivillage.com.”

Communicate with her, but don’t spam her at mckay.heim at nbcuni.com. You can thank us later. In the meantime, send your tips to prnewser at mediabistro.com

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2 Responses to “Media Audit: The Today Show”

  1. scott Says:

    Re: NyQuill….Ummm…that’s not what the NY times article said, it was very clear: she was off her schedule after three weeks vacation, right before Labor Day. Like, last week. Not a year ago. And it never said anything at all about being nervous. Like nothing…

  2. Joe Says:

    Hi Scott,
    Thanks for pointing that out. My mistake. I was finishing this post late last night and somehow must’ve misread it. Changes have been made.

    Joe


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