As the presenter, you get the blame as well as the credit. So when viewers react badly to innovation or change - which they inevitably do (especially when the predecessor programme was fairly popular) - you become branded with the word "failure".
Breakfast TV in Britain was David Frost's idea - but in 1983 he was pipped to the post by BBC Breakfast Time, which launched just a month earlier as a deliberate spoiler. (I know - I was in on it. My ex was senior producer of the very first show, and I was auditioned for the Selina Scott job, and offered the role of newsreader which ultimately went to Debbie Rix.)
But Breakfast Time, hosted By Selina and Frank Bough, though in hindsight a great show, was branded "Yawn Chorus" by the press, who were hostile to the whole idea of breakfast TV. They, of course, preferred the great British public to read newspapers over their cornflakes.
So the first ever was branded a dud.
Then along came the first ITV breakfast show, David Frost's creation, TVam, which launched to the overwhelming derision of the press and public - despite the most celebrated names in the business, including Angela Rippon, Anna Ford, Michael Parkinson and David himself.
No-one liked it. The viewers switched off in their zillions. Another first time dud.
Only when Greg Dyke (from LWT) masterminded a rescue package comprising Nick Owen, myself, and a certain rat, did the tide start to turn, and we grew 100,000 viewers a week.
When TVam ended, it was the most profitable TV station in Britain and we regularly had an audience reach of 14 million.
Then GMTV took over as the new independent company charged with a new look. They called it the "F" factor with presenters Fiona Armstrong and Michael Wilson. I was never quite sure what "F" stood for. But, sadly, it quickly stood for "flop". Fiona left within weeks and Michael moved away to become a very successful financial and business reporter.
So GMTV's first effort was a dismal damp squib.
Now the curse of being first has struck again. "Daybreak", the first breakfast show to come from the ITV channel should be working, but isn't. Viewing figures are sinking. Currently, presenters Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakley are suffering the ignominy of delivering the lowest ratings since David Frost's Famous Five! But is it their fault? Is it that ITV no longer understands its audience? Or is it just the curse of being first?
My wonderful old boss, Bruce Gyngell, used to say that it wasn't just about famous names, personality, chemistry or even production - all obviously important.
Sometimes it's about familiarity. Give a show long enough to catch on, as long as you listen to the feedback, it will find an audience.
So, though Adrian and Christine must be seriously thinking about throwing in the towel, and their agents will be panicking about their future careers, I'd say hang on in there. Play for time. Because a breakfast show takes years to grow, and while it's harrowing now, it's so exciting to feel an audience grow with you. You could end up, as we did, with a massive and loyal audience who'll never forget you!
But if the chaps at ITV are really worried, I have Roland Rat's private telephone number somewhere.....