It was a tearful goodbye for Ann Curry, who this morning bowed out of her co-hosting duties on the “Today” show.
As the time edged towards 9am, Curry sat on the couch alongside Matt Lauer, Al Roker, and Natalie Morales (who is touted as a possible successor).
With tears streaming down her face, an emotional Curry said: “This is not easy to say but today is going to be my last morning as a regular role of Today,
“This is not how I expected to ever leave this couch after 15 years. But I am so grateful especially to all of you who watch, we often call ourselves a family, but you are the real Today show family.”
Apologizing for being emotional, she addressed the viewers directly, adding: “You are why I’ve ventured into dangerous places and interviewed dictators and jumped out of planes and climbed mountains. I have loved you and I have wanted to give you the world and I still do.”
Matt Lauer, who is said to be a driving force behind her ousting, told Curry: “You have the biggest heart in the business,” he said. “You put it on display every singe day in this studio you have for almost 20 years on this show. The way you care about people comes through in every singe story you report.”
However, his stony faced expression and lack of emotions, (though he did try to feign them), means he should never venture into the world of acting, but stick to his $25 million a year day job.
Curry will stay at NBC News with the title of national/international correspondent and Today anchor-at-large. She’ll have a seven-person unit and will produce primetime specials and pieces for NBC broadcasts including Dateline and Today.
After a week of heated speculation, which saw Curry garnering column inches as many were amazed she held her composure and still dutifully turned up for work each day, the seasoned journalist confirmed her departure prior to appearing on the morning show.
She announced the news on Wednesday that Thursday would be her last as a co-host of the NBC show.
In an interview with USA Today on Wednesday, Curry admitted that the leaks about her future on the show “hurt deeply”, but insisted she was not to blame for the drop in ratings. And at the end of the day, a reported exit paycheck of $10 million aside, Curry said her fans were the most important thing to her.
‘I’m going to have to tell our viewers, ” she said in the interview with USA Today. “That’s what makes me more emotional than anything. I don’t want to leave them. I love them. And I will really miss them.”
Do you think Ann deserved to go? And, was her exit handled fairly? Let us know.
Watch her tearful goodbye below…