'Today,' Still in Its Slump, Rebuffs 'Good Day'

From Associated Press

NBC's "Today" show, which will welcome Joe Garagiola back in June as its third co-host, still has the ratings blues. It was in second place last week for the 19th straight week, Nielsen estimates showed today.

ABC's "Good Morning America" remained first in ratings, averaging a 4.8. "Today" averaged a 3.2 and "CBS This Morning" a 2.6. Each ratings point represents 921,000 homes.

The 19th week of bad news for "Today" came a day after it was twitted on local TV by WNYW-TV's "Good Day New York" show, which last week beat the slumping NBC show in local Nielsen ratings.

The needling occurred Wednesday on the East River, where "Today" was broadcasting live from a 160-foot luxury yacht.

Gordon Elliott, who normally barges into homes for live interviews on "Good Day," dogged the "Today" broadcast in a rented cabin cruiser.

NBC was not amused, said the puckish Elliott, whom viewers saw using a bullhorn to hail NBC's show, ask permission to board what he called the "SS Today," and interview co-hosts Bryant Gumbel and Deborah Norville.

NBC, through the Coast Guard, "formally asked us to stay 100 yards from their vessel, which I thought was bad sportsmanship," he groused. "I was going to make our show available to help them in the ratings."

But Elliott can sympathize with ratings woes like those of "Today." He once was a host of "Good Morning Australia," which at one time also had ratings problems. "It happens to every show," he said.

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