"Today is going to be my last morning as a regular co-host of Today" Ann Curry announced during the last ten minutes of the show this morning. "Not how I expected to leave this couch...I love you and I wanted to give you the world. And I still do. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart,” she told viewers, apologizing for her tears.
The move for Curry, which NBC is playing as "taking on a new challenge at NBC News," comes after weeks of speculation that she would be forced out amidst declining ratings for the AM TV behemoth. Curry, who got a 5 minute farewell after 15 years on the show (as opposed to Meredith Vieira who got a two-hour sendoff) will now be the Today Anchor at Large and National and International Correspondent for NBC News. How much she'll be making is an open question, but it is believed that she'll get to keep her $10 million a year salary. When asked about it by USA Today, however, she declined to discuss it, saying only that "I can say that I'd love to earn that much."
Earlier this week, NBC officials began negotiations with Savannah Guthrie, Curry’s expected replacement on the show. But for various reasons she is likely not expected to be announced as the replacement until closer to the Summer Olympics.
Talking to USA Today Curry described herself as "deeply sad" about the turn of events. "I know I am not to blame for the ratings worries," she said. "And my bosses have said to me there are many factors involved. There is no doubt that the rating wars have become meaner and less focused on our responsibilities as journalists."
So what is Curry going to try and do now that she doesn't have to wake up at 3:30 a.m. each morning? "I would be trying to give voice to the citizens of Syria," she says. "I would be trying to understand and report what the women in Egypt are thinking and worrying about after the elections there. I would be spending time with the new poor in America, trying to understand how families will be making that shift with the economy we're facing."
"My father used to say, 'Well, Ann, maybe the best thing you'll ever do, you haven't even thought of yet.' And as I think about this, maybe that time is now."