Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV
About the Book
Like Bill Carter chronicling the late night wars in his classic THE LATE SHIFT, star New York Times reporter Brian Stelter reveals all the dish and dirt behind the polite smiles and perky demeanors of morning television in his much-anticipated TOP OF THE MORNING.
When America wakes up with personable and charming hosts like Matt Lauer, Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos, it's hard to imagine their show bookers having to guard a guest's hotel room all night to prevent rival shows from poaching. But that is just part of the intense reality New York Times staff writer Brian Stelter reveals in TOP OF THE MORNING --- a gripping look at the most competitive time slot in television, complete with Machiavellian booking wars and manic behavior by the producers, executives, and stars.
Stelter is behind the scenes as Ann Curry replaces Meredith Vieira on the "Today" show, only to be fired a year later in a fiasco that made national headlines. He's backstage as "Good Morning America" launches an attack to dethrone "Today" and end the longest consecutive winning streak in morning television history. And he's there as Roberts is diagnosed with a crippling disease-on what should be the happiest day of her career.
Featuring exclusive material about current and past morning stars like Katie Couric and all the major players of the 2000s, TOP OF THE MORNING illuminates what it takes to win the AM, when every single viewer counts, tons of jobs are on the line, and hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake. Among the questions Stelter answers for the first time: Why did NBC really decide to oust Curry from her chair? What was her replacement Savannah Guthrie's reaction? Was Matt Lauer really at fault?
So grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and discover the dark side of the sun.