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An uneasy Ann Curry and Matt Lauer reunion on 'Today'

Its former co-host Ann Curry does a segment at the London Olympics with Matt Lauer.

August 09, 2012|By Meredith Blake, Los Angeles Times
  • TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Ann Curry talks to George Clooney about his recent trip to Sudan where he witnessed firsthand the atrocious war crimes taking place against the people of the Nuba Mountains. The in-depth sit-down interview airs Wednesday, March 14, 2012 on NBC's "Today." -- Photo by: (Lisa Berg/NBC)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Ann Curry talks to George Clooney about his recent… (NBC )

For the first time since her abrupt and emotional departure from "Today"in late June, Ann Curry appeared alongside her former co-host Matt Lauer on Thursday morning in a live broadcast from the London Olympics. In contrast to the spectacle surrounding her farewell, Curry's interaction with her colleague was both tear-free and mercifully brief, but not entirely without tension.

Curry was ousted from her job as co-host of "Today" after a yearlong decline at the once-invincible morning franchise, which saw its 16-year ratings winning streak snapped earlier this year byABC's"Good Morning America." Although Curry took the blame for the stumble, her exit has not put an end to "Today's" woes.

NBC initially tried to soften the blow of Curry's very public demotion by granting her a new role as "anchor-at-large" for "Today" and also promised her the opportunity to report from the London Olympics. But it has taken two weeks for that chance to materialize, fueling speculation that "Today" had scaled back her coverage in order to spotlight her replacement, Savannah Guthrie.


FOR THE RECORD:
Ann Curry: An article in the Aug. 10 Calendar section about Ann Curry's return to "Today" said that she and Matt Lauer were on the morning show together when Curry reported from Aurora, Colo., last month. Lauer was not on with her; his current co-host, Savannah Guthrie, was.

On Thursday, a relaxed-looking Lauer acknowledged the reunion with an enthusiastic "nice to see you," but Curry seemed to be less effusive. "Good morning, Matt," she replied curtly, before diving right into a profile of Olympics photographer Adam Pretty.

The segment itself was a pleasant if unremarkable look at the work of the photographer, who's currently shooting his fifth Summer Games for Getty Images. Curry asked Pretty about his long hours and the challenges of finding quiet moments in the hullabaloo of the Olympics.

"You're pretty good with the camera. Did you pick up anything?" Lauer asked back on "Today's" temporary set in London's Olympic Park.

"No," she initially replied.

But then Curry elaborated: "Well, I didn't take any pictures, but I learned some lessons from him."

Lauer closed the segment by reiterating how "good" it was to see Curry.

"Today," which has been heavily promoting its morning personalities during the Olympics, has received a much-needed ratings boost from the international sporting event that has drawn huge nightly audiences for the struggling network. Despite tape delays and rampant spoilers, the network's prime-time Olympics coverage has garnered more than 30 million viewers on most nights.

Though Thursday marked the first face-to-face meeting between the former broadcasting pair since her departure in June, Curry and Lauer were on the morning show together last month. In July, Curry traveled to Aurora, Colo., to report on the "Dark Knight Rises" shooting.

meredith.blake@latimes.com

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