In what was an emotional and heartfelt goodbye, Ann Curry told viewers of NBC’s morning news show “Today” that Thursday was her last day with the show. Curry’s announcement was the climax to nearly two weeks of speculation that NBC News was moving to replace her before the start of the network’s Olympic coverage. In the weeks leading up to Thursday’s announcement, so-called unnamed sources and leaked documents indicated that the brass at NBC News were unhappy with the show’s dip in ratings, a situation that allowed rival show; “Good Morning America” on ABC to close the gap and overtake “Today”. According to published reports, the blame for the ratings slide was being put solely on Curry.
Ann Curry started her tenure at “Today” in 1997 as the show’s newsreader. In 2011 she was finally promoted to co-host and replaced exiting Meredith Vieira. Curry is known for her exceptional reporting of human interest stories. Her co-host Matt Lauer even commented on her compassionate story telling saying she had the “Biggest heart in the business”.
In her remarks to viewers, Curry said,
This is not how I ever expected to leave this couch after 15 years, but I am so grateful.
Curry unsuccessfully tried to hold back tears as she thanked her colleagues at “Today” and the viewers. Probably the worst part of Curry’s tearful goodbye is seeing in her face, her cracking voice and body language that she truly wanted to stay and that leaving was not her choice. She makes it obvious in in the following statement that her leaving the show wasn’t voluntary. Curry says,
For all of you who saw me as a ground breaker, I’m sorry I couldn’t carry the ball over the finish line, but man I sure did try.
Ann Curry’s new tittle is TODAY anchor at large and NBC News’ national and international correspondent/anchor. Curry says that she being given the opportunity to pursue the kinds of stories she entered journalism to do. While her new position is her consolation prize, the real losers may not be viewers but the NBC Network. Clearly NBC hasn’t learned from previous mistakes in talent relations. This isn’t the first time “Today” has had a shakeup in co-hosts, their handling of the situation alienated some viewers back in the day. When Meredith Vieira left “Today,” we knew that her reason for leaving had more to do with wanting to spend time with her family; a completely different situation than other departures on the show.
I would rather have seen Curry announce her leaving at the start of a week to give viewers time to process and have the show remind us up until the last day of Curry’s contributions to the show with snippets of previous reports and memorable moments of her time at “Today”. I wish she had left with an impression that she was being celebrated for her work as she moves to a new job within the organization rather than perceive NBC News as firing her. This was clearly not the NBC’s finest hour, yet it’s not unique when it comes to the network.
I have loved you and have wanted to give you the world. And I still do.
– Ann Curry
I’m sure I’m not alone in hoping that Curry will file her first report in her new position soon. In the meantime Savannah Guthrie has been tapped as the new “Today” co-anchor. NBC’s “Today” airs from 7A.M-11A.M in Atlanta on WXIA-TV, Comcast channel 6/806. Check your local listings for specific channel information for your area.
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