Ann Curry Makes 'Today' Departure Tearfully Official
The speculation that started the week came to fruition this morning: after a year, Ann Curry will step down from co-hosting NBC's "Today."
Curry made the announcement during Thursday morning's broadcast, fighting back and finally succumbing to her tears, but USA Today broke the news Wednesday following a 40-minute phone interview with the long-time NBC News and "Today" correspondent.
"I'm going to have to tell our viewers," Curry said. "That's what makes me more emotional than anything. I don't want to leave them. I love them. And I really will miss them."
Both NBC and Curry have denied that ABC's "Good Morning America" recently snapping the 16-year "Today" morning-show ratings winning streak merited her departure. In fact, her future endeavors could cynically be called "failing upward." She has a fresh multiyear NBC deal that puts her at the head of a seven-person team designated to the world's biggest news stories. It also includes lines on special pieces to be produced for the likes of "NBC Nightly News," "Dateline," "Rock Center" and even "Today," as well as the odd fill-in anchor duties.
"I know I am not to blame for the ratings worries," she said to The Wrap recently. "And my bosses have said to me there are many factors involved. There is no doubt that the rating wars have become meaner and less focused on our responsibilities as journalists."
Nevertheless, it hasn't been an easy ghost for Curry to give up. She considered hosting "Today" following Meredith Vieira's Spring 2011 departure her "dream job."
"I would be lying if I said it was easy to leave this job," she added in her The Wrap interview. She takes very real offense at assertions her ability to mesh with Lauer - who's a fine host, but a softball-pitching interviewer - held her back. That said, she doesn't deny disappointment that she wasn't given a longer run to fall into a rhythm with him.
"You know, Matt and I have had great on-air chemistry for 14 years, been part of the Number-One winning team for a history-making number of years," Curry said. "That said, I just finished my freshman year as co-host. In every single co-host's first year, there have been kinks to be worked out, and perhaps I deserve as much blame for that as anyone."
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