NBC News Boss on Today's Perceived 9/11 Snub: I'm Sorry Affiliates Caught Any Flack (Report)

NBC News president Steve Capus reportedly offered a mea culpa to the Peacock network’s affiliates, expressing his regret that they fielded any backlash for Today‘s decision to air a Kris Jenner profile instead of the annual moment of silence pegged to the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

Today was the only one of the three network morning programs to not broadcast that part of the annual remembrance service, instead interviewing the Kardashian matriarch about her breast augmentation.

As part of a Wednesday memo to affiliate managers obtained and cited by the New York Times, Capus said, “[W]e made an editorial call resulting in the September 11 moment of silence not being seen. While we dedicated a substantial amount of airtime to anniversary events, we still touched a nerve with many of your viewers… and for that we apologize.”

Neither Capus nor NBC News however is apologizing for the editorial decision itself; instead, the network on Tuesday issued a terse statement saying, “The Today show dedicated a considerable amount of time to September 11th coverage … throughout the entire show.”

It’s also been noted that save for the 10-year anniversary of 9/11, NBC has not regularly broadcast the moment of silence.

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38 Comments
  1. Kevin in CT says:

    That’s the best they can do, airing some elderly d bag talking about her boobs???

  2. Anna says:

    This is the dumbest crap i have ever heard. The Today show is really going down the hole.

  3. Jay says:

    My disappointment wasn’t directed at the affiliates…they had little choice but to pick up the network feed. It’s all placed squarely on what was decided at roc center. Shameful.

    • Kim R says:

      Agreed. No matter the excuse there is no good spin you can put on this decision. It truly is shameful. Badly done NBC. Badly done.

  4. TV Gord says:

    What a passive aggressive way to try to subliminally shift the blame to the affliates! I certainly never thought to blame any affiliates for a screwup obviously made at the network level! Who is he trying to kid!?!?

    • MelindaB says:

      No kidding, Gord. While they may have fielded calls from viewers simply because their phone numbers were available, I’m sure that the displeasure voiced was aimed at the show, not at the affiliates just airing the feed they were given. Regardless of how much time given to 9/11 remembrances, not airing the moment of silence seems disrespectful to those who died, those who worked in the rescue and clean up efforts, and everyone who felt an emotional impact that day.

      I would ask if the monkeys are running the network, but I happen to like monkeys and think they’d do a better job of it.

  5. Elizabeth says:

    And the winner for “Most Asinine Comment That Actually Offends Me More That the Original Issue” goes to…Clueless Capus! Let’s give him a round of applause, everybody.

  6. Alessandra says:

    It’s distressing to me that NBC does not understand and acknowledge the wrongness in their actions. Having a basis in New York, they should know better than anyone just how important and meaningful September 11th is. To consciously decide to air a discussion about breasts in place of the moment of silence is not only disgraceful, but disrespectful as well. Many people don’t really understand the “big deal” in all of this, but let me take a moment to educate you on what the moment of silence means. Bowing your head and taking a moment to reflect on the horrific events of that terrifying day is a sign of respect for the fallen: for the victims inside the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and the planes, for the countless selfless police, firefighters, and EMT workers who perished trying to save lives that day. If you cannot grasp the importance of paying your respects to them, perhaps it’s time to take a good long look in the mirror. Once a year, this tragedy is reflected upon globally, and for how long? A total of one, maybe two minutes tops? To be complaining about having to pause for two minutes is vile. Have some respect for those who were affected by this tragedy instead of spitting in their faces. As for you, NBC, I hope you are prepared for whatever LASTING backlash you will receive. This incident was merely the nail in the coffin for many loyal viewers who have watched the network’s downward spiral over the last few years. It’s a damn shame you weren’t brought up with better values. If you live in a world where you believe some two-bit celebrity’s breasts are a more important segment than a pause in respect of the brave fallen citizens of our country, then I think it’s time to get some help.

    • Mary says:

      I agree 100% with what you stated.

    • G-Mom says:

      I agree completely! However, since I don’t watch the Today Show anymore after the Ann Curry/Savannah Guthrie debacle, I didn’t know about it until I read it here! GMA DID show it. Apparently a Kardasian is more important to NBC. Go figure!

    • TV Gord says:

      Brilliant, Alessandra. I visit New York every two years or so and I was there almost exactly a year ago. I spent $300 in the NBC Experience Store, as I do every time I visit. This incident has soured me on all of the purchases I have made.

      I’m not even American. I am Canadian, and while there were a lot of Canadians who died in lower Manhattan that horrible day, I ALWAYS stop on the 11th to remember ALL of the victims from around the world who were privileged to work in the Twin Towers and area. The thought that Today didn’t have the presence of mind to realize how important that moment of silence is to people just shows how out of touch they have become. Regardless of what they have done in the past, they should have judged the mood in the world (the way the other networks and channels obviously did) and realized that perhaps last year’s tenth anniversary renewed the empathy we all have for those who suffered that day.

      As much as they want to justify their actions, they have to gaze at their own navels, especially considering their decision to forego the solemn remembrance of that precious moment of silence was made by them, and them alone. If their decision was so deliberate and so righteous, why is it that everyone else decided to make the supposedly misguided decision to focus on remembering the valuable lives lost on 9/11 in favor of a that Kardashian boob and her boobs.

  7. Madworld430 says:

    Why can they just apologize to the viewers and admit that what they did was distatesful? It’s not hard to admit you were wrong. This is the second time NBC has done this and they don’t apologize, quite the opposite the behave in an very arrogant way, I’m sure they’re losing viewer by the minute.

  8. Ann says:

    Translation: We’re not sorry at all for what we chose to do. Sorry, though, that you had to listen to upset viewers. It IS a Kardashian, after all.

  9. former today fan says:

    I used this as my excuse to move over to ABC’s Good Morning America for the first time ever. Their afflitate isn’t close to my town so that was always my exuse. I really enjoyed watching the GMA grop interact. It did not seem like anyone was walking on eggshells like at the Today Show, nor did they insult their audience or viewers with snide comments like I sometimes feel has been happening on the Today Show the last few years. (I feel sorry for the fans outside who don’t know that Al is insulting them half the time when he makes his snide remarks to them)
    Over all it just felt happier. The Today Show is starting to become less about the morning news, which has always been a mix of world news, entertainment news, cooking and fashion segments etc. and more E! news morning edition. The minute they considered Ryan Secrest versus an actual news ancor people should have seen it, which is sad given that the Today Show has always had the legacy of creating some of the best NEWS names in the buisness. The problem with Today isn’t just that they ignore the 9/11 moment of silence…it is that they have allowed one person to settle in and take control. He is the big fish in the morning pond. Unlike the Tom Brocaw’s of the world Matt is happy and see’s no point in leaving and now Today is stale and going down the E! rabbit hole.

  10. Jay says:

    The people who are upset should have turned off their TVs and had a proper minute’s silence dedicated to remembrance, not what was on their TV.

  11. Wendy H says:

    If the network was going to dedicate air time to 911 then why not make that time around the moment of silence and schedule the other stories around it? That would have satisfied everyone. All of these recent missteps in management of the Today show will surely result in some firings.

  12. beej says:

    Pointing out that they’ve only stayed on air for the moment of silence ONCE in 11 years doesn’t excuse their actions this year, it simply points out that NBC has a HISTORY of blatant disregard for what is right and feels bringing sensationalism is more important.

    It also points out how little they think of their viewers, that they suppose some wanna-be celebrity’s breast enhancement is more important to their viewers than honoring those who died in a horrific act of terrorism against the very viewers their esteeming so lowly.

    shameful in every regard, from every angle.

  13. Bella says:

    The fact that they chose an interview with a member of one of the most self-agrandizing families, who are “famous for being famous” without actually having any talent over taking part in a moment of silence for a national tragedy tells me everything I need to know about this show and network.

  14. Angela says:

    Is MTV owed by NBC? I can think of no other reason they would give this bag of crap a platform. It’s very sad to realize that whatever self-serving crap that dribbles from that tool’s mouth is even considered news worth sharing. Isn’t that what her twitter feed is for? — That way only the useless dimwits that actually care enough about the Kardashians to follow their every word need be subject to their feeble ramblings.

    • s says:

      No Angela it isn’t, but E! is… In fact this is why you see all of the E! network people so often on the Today Show, because NBCUniversal owns both networks and is seemingly trying to convert the Today Show into the morning version of E! news; reporting nothing more than celeb gossip and 24/7 Kardashians.

      @Jay I wasn’t watching I 8:45am. I didn’t need to…it was they fact that the Today show chose to air an interview, not with a survivor or show a news story about something important, but an interview with a mother who is famous for selling her children to reality TV (worse if you believe the stories that she was behind Kim’s rise to fame) and who has in most recent episodes of her “family show” advocated everything from operating motor vehicles while drunk, cheating on spouses. She is little better than the people on TLC shows.

      A great reason to miss the 9/11 events NBC.

      • Angela says:

        Thanks. I didn’t realize it was E! that shows the Kardashian (because, obviously, I don’t watch E! ) But that makes sense then; it was just pandering self-promotion on the part of NBC, no matter how they want to excuse it now. I guess that’s the rub, if NBC had covered ANY other actually worthy news story, it wouldn’t have been such a ClusterF. But to feature the most worthless of humans yammering on about how make your boobies bigger was the epitome of vacuous news at exactly the wrong time.

  15. diane says:

    I don’t care what excuse you give about the snub.It was disrespectful and you should all be ashamed.

  16. Aimee says:

    I don’t watch Today, but I agree with almost every single comment made that the choice to air a Kardashian talking about her breasts over a tribute to 9/11 is one of the most distasteful and disrespectful moves they could ever have made. I don’t care if it is 11 years later, the effect this event had on our country, and not to mention NYC where this show is filmed, is still felt very deeply. To downplay this event by saying that “we dedicated most of the show to it” is just a sad excuse to justify their actions. I have quite a distaste for the Kardashian family as is as they aren’t famous for any talent they possess. The fact that NBC felt that airing a trashy reality star discussing her cosmetic changes to her breasts other than a yearly tribute to the loss of life our country felt as result of the deadliest act of terrorism in our history is shameful. I didn’t have to watch it to see that. NBC deserves every single bit of backlash that they receive.

  17. Rosemary says:

    That they thought Kris Jennar talking about breast implants was an appropriate topic on 9/11 is generally the problem. Even if this story had appeared in the 10 AM hour, it was still in poor taste. I am not saying that all of the stories on Tuesday should have been devoted to 9/11. However, some thought should have been given to what “soft news” stories and celebrity news was going to be covered.

  18. Rosemary says:

    PS…..I used to be a devoted Today Show viewer. I could not stand GMA back in the ’80s. This focus on the Kardarshians and Duggars and Gosselins on the Today Show is degrading a once proud franchise. I find myself watching the NY Fox affiliate local news in the morning more and more in the morning. Which distubs me because I really do not like to support anything Murdoch related.

  19. Mary says:

    I didn’t watch the show just heard about NBC trying their best to stay in last place. So I was prepared to read this as “we’re trying to move on” but instead came away with a “what a a$$” feeling. I’m sure the Kardashian mother talking about her boobs could have been put off for a day. And if she said no she couldn’t fit them into her schedule otherwise, oh well. NBC only has two shows I like and if I wasn’t worried about Community being canceled I would watch it on Hulu and boycott the network.

  20. Whatever says:

    Kardashians are an insult to the intelligence of most people on a normal day but having them on instead of a moment of silence on 9/11 is just beyond the pale.
    Seriously NBC pull you head out of your a*s.

  21. Ace says:

    I really hope someone in NBC’s PR department reads these comments and realizes what a mess their network has made. Some serious changes need to be made at NBC HQ.

  22. Allyson says:

    Are you freakin kidding me NBC? No excuse for that poor decision! Making the biggest mistake ever by covering a Kardashian talking about something that we don’t care about instead of honoring the moment of slience speaks volumes of your network. You should apologize for making such a bad call. It is difficult to respect your network. Shame on you!

  23. Jay says:

    Re: Kardashian breast aug: For the first time in my life I cared less about boobs and more about doing what was right and paying my respects. I never thought I’d be a better man than all of NBC “news” combined.

  24. skytzo425 says:

    This really needs to be the final straw in a long downward spiral that finally gets all these moron execs at NBC fired, As far as I’m concerned this is absolutely unforgivable. For an American network to show such little respect for the biggest American tragedy in my 31 years and probably of all-time is absolutely disgusting. Fire all these morons!

  25. Pavanne says:

    Maybe NBC and Mitt Romney have the same “Let’s make a really bad decision” team.

  26. Jim says:

    No need to apologize to your VIEWERS. You know the ones that put money into your pocket, and watch the show. Soon there won’t be any viewers so, I’m sure the affiliates will be so happy with your apology Mr Capas

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