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April 02, 2012  | by: Christopher Burns

Sarah Palin

This week, a former Vice Presidential candidate becomes another pawn in the chess match brewing between ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s The Today Show.

Sarah Palin, Conservative America’s sweetheart, will be co-hosting The Today Show on NBC this Tuesday. Her appointment as temporary anchor is a response by Today to Katie Couric’s one week return to early morning TV on ABC.

Couric, who formerly worked as anchor of Todayfor years, took a one week stint on ABC much to the chagrin of NBC executives. Although most of the country has better things to do than worry about employee loyalty to major network media; NBC executives don’t necessarily have anything more important to fret over, and quickly plotted a way to draw attention (and ratings) away from Couric on their rival network.

Katie Couric and Sarah Palin

For many calculated reasons, Palin was added to NBC’s morning show for Tuesday.

First of all, Today has been suffering from poor ratings lately, and is seeking to expand its conservative viewership who generally trend towards The Fox network’s morning news shows. While the Tuesday episode may show an increase in conservative viewership for NBC, the famously liberal network shouldn’t see any long term expansion in this demographic. Though Mrs. Palin is certainly a dynamic figure in American politics and pop culture today, her audience base is severely restricted to a demographic of people who’s morning rituals often do not include turning on “mid-morning-made-for-housewives-and-stay-at-home-dad” TV shows. Especially on (gasp!) liberal networks.

Secondly, tapping Palin for a Tuesday show is a kick in the shins to Katie Couric, who famously derailed the Vice Presidential candidate’s momentum and credibility in 2008 (see the whole interview below). This move seems more or less a juvenile response to a decision made by a former employee. I can’t imagine Couric, whose pointed conversation with Palin was a great professional achievement and will certainly be earning a large sum from ABC, will have her ratings or feelings hurt by NBC’s move. After all, business is business, and Couric is certainly a professional.

Nonetheless, I for one can’t wait to see how Palin manages to embarrass herself on live morning TV.

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