Ann Curry Says Goodbye to “Today”

Wish we could say we didn’t see this coming, but…

At approximately 8:50 a.m. on Thursday morning, the Today Show co-host Ann Curry said goodbye to the NBC morning chatshow — years earlier than she ever intended.

Fighting back tears, an emotional Curry became choked up as she confirmed what gossip gawkers have been saying for weeks: Her brief tenure as the female face of the program is done.

“This is not easy to say, but today’s going to be my last morning as regular co-host of Today,” Ann confessed with co-host Matt Lauer and correspondents Al Roker and Natalie Morales seated next to her.

“I will still be part of the Today Show family, but I’m going to have a new title and a new role. And 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 because Matt and I — and everyone who sits on this couch – we often call ourselves a family, but YOU are the real Today Show family.”

Ann took over the co-hosting reigns after Meredith Vieira departed the show last June. She’ll get “a fancy new title” and “we’ll go all over the world and all over the county at a time when this country and this world needs clarity.” She’ll produce network specials and pieces for Dateline, Rock Center and Today. The 55-year-old newswoman will also occasionally fill in for Brian Williams on NBC Nightly News.

“You are why I have ventured into dangerous places and interviewed dictators and jumped out of planes and off of bridges and climbed mountains and landed ino the South Pole and convinced the Dalai Lama to come live in our studio. I have loved you and I have wanted to give you the world, and I still do.”

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She added:

“I don’t even know if I can sleep in anymore after all these years! But I know that whatever time I wake up, I’ll be missing you. And I’ll be believing in you. I love all of you, epsecially all of you who are behind the scenes, behind the cameras. I love you guys…Thank you from the bottom of my heart for letting me touch yours…I will keep trying and I’m sorry I turned into a sob sister this morning. Please forgive me, but I hope you’ll wish me well.”

Curry first confirmed news of her departure in a chat with USA Today on Wednesday. During a candid 40-minute phone interview, the journalist described how NBC bosses brought down the axe and hit back allegations that a nosedive in ratings and a lack of chemistry with Lauer were her demise.

“You know, Matt and I have had great on-air chemistry for 14 years, been part of the No. 1 winning team for a history-making number of years. 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.”

Ann was also candid when asked if she felt she’d been given enough time to work out said “kinks.”

“No, I do not,” was the reply.

NBC’s Samantha Guthrie and fourth-hour Today co-host Hoda Kotb are reportedly being eyed as possible replacements for Curry.

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