I am a creature of habit. I take comfort in routines. I know that Tuesday and Friday, the garbage gets collected – which means we can only have shrimp on Monday or Thursday nights, I know that Sunday mornings are for the New York Times, Meet the Press and fresh bagels – which taste much better when someone else goes out and gets them.
I know that drinks are half off on Thursday nights at my favorite haunt – drink twice as much/save half the money – always a dilemma. When I'm stuck in traffic if I turn on 1010 WINS news radio, I will get a traffic report 1, 11, 21, 31, 41, and 51 past the hour – not that it really matters because the only time I think to do that is when I'm already stuck.
If I drive a few blocks to the next town, I can get a mani/pedi for $25 on Wednesdays – which of course, means that by the weekend, it's all ruined. I have discovered that the carpool line at school is not FIFO – First In First Out – it works in reverse – LIFO – Last In First Out, so it's actually better to get there a few minutes later. Shhhh – don't tell anyone – I didn't figure that out until my second kid. It's apparently a veteran mom secret that is, not shared.
I also know that for the past several years, I have watched Meredith Vieira and Matt Lauer, on the Today Show every morning. I get up at 6:30 and catch the end of the local news. I know that when Meredith and Matt come on at 7:00, I have to kick into high gear and get lunches packed, while I watch and listen. I like Meredith and Matt. I trust Meredith and Matt. I like saying, Meredith and Matt.
I didn't always watch the Today Show. I was a long-time Good Morning America watcher. It started years ago, when I first got out of college. I watched David Hartman and Joan Lunden each morning when I got ready for work. There was something paternal about David Hartman that I liked. He inspired confidence and I listened to him. Joan Lunden was pleasant. I thought Spencer Christian was a very dapper weather man. It worked.
You start to feel like you know these people, after all, you let them into your home every morning while you get dressed and start your day. Also, I grew up at a time where we didn't have that many channels to choose from – and I'm a girl – so rapid fire channel surfing is not an activity I engage in.
I struggled to regain my footing when David Hartman left and again, when Joan Lunden followed suit. But I did take quickly to the Charles Gibson/Diane Sawyer team. They are respected journalists in their own rights, who worked well together. Again, my morning balance was restored. But alas, they both left to anchor the nightly news and I was adrift again.
I found my way to NBC one morning, when my friend told me to turn on a news story they were covering. At first, I was resistant but I wanted to be in the loop so I made the leap. Though their format was a bit different and their correspondents not as familiar to me, I made the change and stayed there – but I will admit to feeling a bit disloyal to GMA, but Matt Lauer and Katie Couric were a synergistic team.
I actually met Katie Couric at a restaurant in East Hampton. during her Today Show tenure. Much to my delight, she came up to our table. I was dining with friends and she had interviewed my friend and remembered him. She was exactly the same in person as she is on TV. I felt a you go girl moment, when I saw her younger, very handsome dinner companion.
Through the years, I'd heard rumors that CBS also had a morning show, but the few times I'd accidentally navigated to it, I felt like Harry Smith was talking down to me and I didn't need that before I got to work.
This week, Meredith Vieira, made her departure from Today. I know that her husband has had serious health problems, so I understand. But it just isn't as easy making these transitions anymore. As I get older, it seems more and more is changing and I cling to the little left that is familiar.
It has been a rough few years/2 decades, Johnny Carson was and always will be, the King of Late Night. The Leno/Letterman, O'Brien/Leno power struggles were ugly. Tim Russert died and Meet The Press has not been the same, I still look for Oprah at 4:00 -–apparently, it will take a while for all of us to stop doing that. Is there an Oprah support group we can join to wean ourselves? And now, Meredith.
I like Ann Curry – Meredith's replacement. I just don't like her as Meredith's replacement. She is not co hosty - yes, that is a word. She is credible and adept at reading the news, and at anchoring Dateline and The Nightly News but she is a bit too serious and stiff for this role. They have tried to radically change Ann's wardrobe to make her seem more suitable for the job. Not working. She doesn't look right in mismatched, bright and whimsical clothing. No one does.
So, who should replace Meredith? Here's what I propose. Matt's contract is up in December 2012. That is not such a long time away. I say rip the band aid off and let him leave now. This way I don't have to go through this again in a year and a half. I just don't bounce back the way I used to. Put Ann back to newsreader – she is very good at that. They have to hire a very dynamic duo to draw viewers – two strong personalities who would play off each other and hold their own.
After much thought, I have come up with Alec Baldwin and Oprah. They would be fierce, fabulous and funny. If they are not available, my B team is Anderson Cooper and Maria Shriver – wouldn't they be great together? And, if all of that doesn't work out, Brad Pitt and George Clooney. What? Like they wouldn't get great ratings? Meredith who?