*Former “Today” co-host Bryant Gumbel is not holding his tongue over the show’s decision to bring in Sarah Palin as a co-host last week.
Gumbel, who led the show for fifteen years and returned to “Today” for its sixtieth anniversary reunion show, told CNN’s Howard Kurtz that he was “embarrassed” by the move.
NBC brought in Palin to counter Katie Couric’s week-long stint on rival “Good Morning America.” Palin’s one-day gig helped top the ABC show. She was both interview subject and host during her Tuesday appearance, shifting from heated denunciations of Barack Obama to light-hearted conversation with Tori Spelling.
Gumbel had more choice words about the state of the morning shows.
Hosts “used to be judged not just on their popularity level but the extent to which they were capable of interviewing someone or reporting on a situation, or able to have a degree of gravitas,” he told Kurtz. “Now that is secondary to being popular.”