Manhattan, NY - The battle between the three major television networks for the top spot in the morning show ratings has always been a dirty dogfight behind the scenes. Networks snatch interviews and stories from each other like vultures, but now iconic weatherman, Al Roker, has hired a lawyer, saying that NBC has taken the ratings war a bit too far.
Roker claims that for years now, NBC has been dropping him in more and more dangerous situations, all in the name of ratings. He says that the last episode, with Super Storm Sandy, was the final straw.
Roker explains, "So we all pile into the vans and head down to the Jersey Shore on the day that Sandy is gonna hit. We're gonna do a little thing on the beach near Atlantic City. Wait for a big wind gust, I fake falling over and we're outta there! We're hot tubbin' at the Double Tree before they run out of Pina Colada mix.
"Then my producer, Steve Henchman, gets a call as we're tootin' down the Garden State Parkway." Roker tells next. "He looks at me while he's on the phone and he has a really weird look on his face, like he's got some really bad news for me. It's a look I've seen before." He remembered. "He hangs up and tells me; "Double Trees' out Roker. The big wigs at the top want you to ride out the hurricane, strapped to the Atlantic City Pier."" Roker told.
Apparently, this wasn't the first time that NBC has been willing to sacrifice Mr. Roker in the name of ratings.
"Once in Oklahoma, they left me in field of cows, in the middle of nowhere, with a tornado coming straight for me. I think they were trying to recreate that scene in the movie, Twister. But instead of Helen Hunt, it would be me. Another time in California, they dropped me off in the middle of a forest fire with a bottle of water and some fruit roll-ups. I'm not sure what movie that was, but it seems vaguely familiar." Roker tried to remember. "But at least in those scenes, I could run. They didn't tie me to a tree... or a cow."
Roker's lawyers insist, that this last episode during Sandy was truly going beyond America's friendly weatherman's contractual obligations.
"Nowhere in our clients contract does it state that he will be tied down without the ability to get out of harms way during a weather event.
Roker thinks that NBC is trying to get out of their current contract that keeps him on, at a premium salary, for another ten years.
"I mean look at me," said Roker. "I've got "Corporate Punching Bag" written all over me. "They forced me to risk getting a very dangerous gastric by-pass surgery for Christ's sake, then continue to rub it in my face everyday, by having some four-star chef on the show, cooking the most delicious thing you've ever seen! It's absolutely killing me! They did it just to see if I'd snap on-air one day. I know that's exactly want they want-but I'm not going to give it to them," said a maddening Roker.
Networks are constantly switching out their on-air talent on these morning shows. Sometimes, it's because of another star. It was speculated that Today Show host, Matt Lauer had something to do with Anne Curry's recent dismissal. Did Roker think that Lauer had anything to do with his more action-packed lifestyle of late?
"I've got several theories on that," revealed Roker. "But I have to play my cards close to my chest, so I can't comment on that angle right now. Overall though, not matter who's involved, it seems that they want to knock me off and replace me with someone younger and sexier, like Mr. Super Shiny, Jim Cantore." He said of the recently purchased Weather Channel star.
About an hour into being strapped to the Atlantic City Pier, Roker started to really get angry at the corporate system. He began thrashing back and forth trying to free himself before the storm came ashore. "I thought that strapping me to the pier was one thing, but to teather me to the pier with a twenty foot metal pole was quite another. It really started to dawn on me that they were trying to get one last ratings boost at my expense."
A representative for NBC has denied most of the claims made by Mr. Roker and blames many of the accusations on climate change due to a warming planet. The network then went on to explain the official NBC corporate policy for off settings their carbon footprint, by planting a tree for every employee that they accidentally kill in the name of good ratings.