Life After 'Today" - Deborah Norville

Ann Curry can take note, there is a life after the Today Show.

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And Deborah Norville proves it.

Next month, Norville will mark 18 years as anchor of “Inside Edition.” She has a simple explanation for her longevity.

How'd she make it that long?

She tells the Orlando Sentinel “I don’t pick fights,” said Norville, 54. “I think I’m pretty low maintenance. I try not to act like anyone other than a member of the team.”

She is even working on a book commemorating 25 years of the nationally syndicated newsmagazine that airs at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. weekdays on WKMG-Channel 6.

“Nobody asked  me to do it. I volunteered,” Norville said. “I said, ‘Are you going to let this milestone go unmarked?’ I and one producer are writing 25 years of history on the show’s look at pop culture.” (The book will be out next year.)

Norville will be the keynote speaker Wednesday at the Heart of Florida United Way’s Women’s Leadership Luncheon. ”One point they want me to talk about is philanthropy and why giving is good,” Norville said. “That dovetails with books I’ve written about gratitude. When you do something that makes you feel good, you’ve empowered yourself.”

She also will tailor her remarks for an audience made up mostly of women.

“I’ll talk about baloney you go through as a woman,” she said. ”I’ve been a working mom. Even when mom is working outside the home, there are worries that fall to her. I’ve managed to raise three kids and my marriage is intact. I feel supremely blessed to have a career and a solid marriage.”

In addition, she is an entrepreneur. She has a yarn line, and in June, she will expand her collection by adding 100 percent wool, cotton/silk and alpaca fibers.

In the media world, she knitted a comeback that has been durable. Things looked dire for Norville during her well-publicized time at NBC’s ”Today.” She replaced Jane Pauley in 1990, but weak ratings prompted NBC to give Katie Couric the job a year later. Ann Curry went through a similar situation last year when she was replaced by Savannah Guthrie.

“I hope Ann is able to look at all the things that are good in her life,” Norville said. “The ‘Today’ thing was screwed up. I am living, breathing proof you can survive. For anyone who feels their dream situation turned out to be a nightmare, my advice, and who better than I, is focus on the good things that have happened in your past. Focus on things that happen today that you are grateful for.”

Norville is grateful that ”Inside Edition” was a wonderful place to work when her children were young. She has a son who is ready to graduate from college, a son who is a senior in high school and a daughter who is 15.

Norville’s numbers at “Inside Edition are good; the show recently averaged 4.69 million viewers, roughly the ”Today” audience these days.

“We are compared to syndicated programs, but compare us to daily programs,” Norville said. “More people watch us than David Letterman. I’m not making Letterman’s salary. We have a wonderful, loyal audience. There’s no pretense. We’re hard-working people. We have kind of a weird sense of humor, but that’s OK because we know you do, too. We brand ourselves as America’s newsmagazine.”

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