In order to prevent being toppled by ABC's Good Morning America on the days that it aired Diane Sawyer's exclusive interview with Mel Gibson last month, NBC pulled all of its national advertising from the Today show during the competing time period, the New York Observer reported today. Calling the tactic "a little clever ratings jujitsu that went unnoticed by almost everyone in TV news," the Observer noted that Nielsen only measures audiences for programs that air national advertising. While hundreds of thousands of dollars in national spots were dumped out of the time period, Jim Bell, executive producer of the Today show observed, "We did not lose any money," since, in the end Today could report a larger average audience for the sponsored part of the broadcast than GMA. [ABC was also unable to capitalize on the Gibson interview in primetime, since Primetime Live, the magazine show that Sawyer once hosted, no longer has a permanent spot on the ABC schedule.]