A choked-up Ann Curry bid farewell to her post as co-anchor on “The Today Show” Thursday morning, finally confirming weeks of speculation about her departure from the popular NBC program.
Curry is clearly devastated by the company’s decision to oust her from what she’s called her “dream job” after nearly 15 years on the show and only a year in the anchor’s seat.
“This is not as I expected to ever leave this couch after 15 years but I am so grateful, especially to all of you who watch,” Curry, holding back tears, told TV viewers as she was surrounded by Matt Lauer and other “Today” show correspondents.
She continued, “For all of you who saw me as a groundbreaker, I’m sorry I couldn’t carry the ball over the finish line, but man, I did try.”
Lauer consoled a tearful Curry, saying she has “the biggest heart in the business,” and highlighted some of her best television moments and her personal warmth. “The way you care about people comes through in every single story you report,” said Lauer.
Curry also revealed that while she will be leaving her post on “Today,” she will continue to be a part of the NBC news team as part of NBC’s Olympics coverage and in a unit created specifically for her.
“They’re giving me some fancy new titles, which essentially means I’m going to get tickets to every big story we want to cover with a terrific team of my choosing,” Curry explained on “Today.”
Curry’s departure leaves an opening in the coveted co-anchor spot, with Savannah Guthrie, who co-hosts the 9 a.m. hour of the “Today” show, seen as the most likely successor.
Ratings troubles have plagued “Today” after ABC’s “Good Morning America” recently broke the once-dominant morning news program’s long-winning ratings streak.
On the same morning that Curry announced her exit, “GMA” anchors Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos paid a classy tribute to Curry, who they called “the heart and soul” of NBC and ended their show with a round of applause for the veteran journalist.