Guide

Curry out as co-host of NBC’s ‘Today’ show

Her exit represents NBC's most visible response to the popular morning show's worst stretch in the ratings in nearly two decades.

NEW YORK | Ann Curry offered a tearful goodbye as co-host of NBC’s “Today” show on Thursday, saying “this is not as I expected to ever leave this couch after 15 years.”

FILE – In a Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012 file photo, “Today” show co-host Ann Curry attends the “Today” show 60th anniversary celebration at the Edison Ballroom in New York. Curry announced her departure after one year as co-host of NBC’s “Today” show Thursday, June 28, 2012. NBC’s Savannah Guthrie is expected to replace Curry. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini, File)

Her exit represents NBC’s most visible response to the popular morning show’s worst stretch in the ratings in nearly two decades. “Today” hadn’t lost a single week since 1996, but this spring it was beaten four times by ABC’s resurgent “Good Morning America.”

Curry’s exit marked a stark contrast to the lengthy tribute shows given to predecessors Meredith Vieira and Katie Couric. She announced it during the final five minutes of her shift on Thursday, ending a week of awkward television as she continued working after word spread that NBC was looking to oust her.

“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,” she said, breaking down.

Curry joined the show as a news anchor in 1997. Passed over for the co-host job when Vieira replaced Couric, she was given the chance when Vieira left last June. But her pairing with co-host Matt Lauer never seemed to click and she took the fall for the show’s ratings troubles.

NBC’s Savannah Guthrie is expected to replace Curry.

Curry will remain at NBC News, saying she’s been given a “fancy new title” to lead a reporting team. NBC said she will be anchor-at-large and national and international correspondent. Her work will occasionally resurface on “Today,” and Lauer said she will be in London with the show for the Olympics.

He sat next to Curry, Al Roker and Natalie Morales on the couch as Curry choked back tears and apologized for being a “sob sister.”

“It’s not goodbye, not by a long shot,” a grim-faced Lauer said.

Each of her colleagues recalled some of Curry’s reporting from her “Today” tenure, but there was no video tribute. The “Today” website displayed “15 top Ann moments spanning her 15 years on TV,” asking viewers to vote on their favorite.

“To all of you watching, thank you from the bottom of my heart for letting me touch yours,” she said.

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  • Marylougk

    I miss. watching the Today Show but I don’t think it was your co-host I believe you need to change your format of the show, It is boring. I will not watch Matt Lauer and Guthrie. I will watch the Olympics but after that I am finished with NBC. I have watched this program since Bryant and Katie. You did Ann wrong after all the years she has been on the show.

  • A24irbo

    The executives at NBC  should take a more careful look at the men who enjoy the places of honor on the “Today” show instead of the women.  Matt Lauer and Al Roker appear to me to be at  times arrogant, abrasive,  juvenile, demeaning, and downright offensive.

  • Dianne824

    Ann Curry was a great reporter and most of all had sincerity in all her reports.
    If you heard it from Ann you knew it was true and sincere.
    She portrays all her stories with feeling and a passion to serve the public.
    NBC you need to take a long hard look at the elegant and dignified lady you have replaced and see what a loss this will be for your morning news show which has become a comedy and farce at times.
    As co anchor she raised the show to a higher level and was willing to try any challenge sent her way.
    I will follow Ann anywhere and my family feels the same.
    dcaillou