Studio 1A was a very unhappy -- and unfriendly -- place for Ann Curry in her final, embattled year at the TODAY Show. Media reporter Brian Stelter sheds surprising new light on Curry's infamously messy June 2012 exit from the NBC morning show in his book Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV, excerpted Thursday online in the New York Times Magazine. (Curry, 56, started with TODAY back in 1997, but ascended to the co-anchor chair in June 2011 after Meredith Vieira's voluntary exit.)

"A lot of time in the control room was spent making fun of Ann's outfit choices or just generally messing with her," one staff person told Stelter. According to the same staffer, back in spring 2012, employees openly mocked Curry's bright yellow dress worn during one broadcast -- photoshopping a picture of Big Bird next to Curry, asking the team to vote, "Who Wore it Best?" The Us Weekly-inspired joke was posted in the control room.