Ann Curry wept as she said goodbye to NBC’s “Today Show” near the end of the show on Thursday morning.
“This is not easy to say,” she said after the show returned from a commercial break at around 8:50 a.m. eastern time, “but this has been my last morning as a regular co-host of ‘Today’.”
She maintained her composure during that sentence but she delivered the rest of her farewell while shedding tears, even apologizing at one point for turning into “a sob sister.”
Curry, 55, was surrounded by her colleagues on the “Today Show” couch as she spoke — Matt Lauer, Al Roker and Natalie Morales. She thanked them all, and also expressed her gratitude to the show’s staff.
She even thanked the show’s top producers, even though it was they, along with top brass at NBC News, who determined that she wasn’t the right fit to continue as Lauer’s co-host.
She also thanked her viewers. “I’m going to have a new title and a new role,” Curry said, “and this 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’.”
“You are why I have ventured into dangerous places and interviewed dictators and jumped off of planes and off of bridges and climbed mountains and landed in the South Pole and convinced the Dalai Lama to come [to] our studio,” Curry said. “I have loved you and I wanted to give you the world, and I still do.”
“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. We’re going to go all over the world, all over this country at a time when this country and this world needs clarity,” she said.
“We’re going to do great work, I hope, and we’re being given the chance to do the work that most of us got into journalism to do. And these stories are going to air on all the platforms of NBC News, including here on ‘Today’,” she said, her voice breaking into sobs.
To NBC’s credit, “Today” producers generously gave Curry the time she needed to ramble a bit in her farewell speech.
Through tears, she continued: “And, after all these years, I don’t even know if I can sleep in anymore. I’m not even sure I can, but I know that whatever time I wake up, I’ll be missing you and I’ll be believing you. I love all of you, especially all of you who are behind the scenes, behind the cameras, I love you guys. … And I love all of our brilliant, brilliant producers, and 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.
“And so, to all of you who watched, thank you from the bottom of my heart for letting me touch yours. And thank you for your tweets and your e-mails and for your support, and I will keep trying, and I’m so sorry I’ve turned into a sob sister this morning. Please forgive me!”
All three of her colleagues then took turns thanking her and showing their appreciation for her work and friendship. Curry had been associated with the “Today Show” for 15 years, as a correspondent, news anchor, substitute co-host and then, finally, as full-time co-host with Lauer, starting a little over a year ago.
But in the last two weeks, news leaked from NBC that “Today” producers were seeking to replace her, citing a lack of chemistry between Curry and Lauer as one reason why the show’s ratings have fallen off recently.
Savannah Guthrie is the NBC News personality most often cited as Curry’s probable replacement.