Ann Curry officially confirmed to USA Today that she is leaving her post at NBC‘s ‘Today‘ show. In a 40-minute phone interview on Wednesday, she fought back tears as she talked about leaving the job she’s had for more than 10 years.
“I’m going to have to tell our viewers. That’s what makes me more emotional than anything. I don’t want to leave them. I love them. And I will really miss them.”
On rumors of behind the scenes tension with co-host Matt Lauer, she said,
“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.”
She added that she wishes there had been more time to work out those kinks. Curry has, unfortunately, been pinpointed as the reason for ‘Today‘s’ decline in ratings. ABC‘s ‘Good Morning America‘ broke the show’s 16 year winning streak as the country’s number 1 morning show back in April.
“I know I am not to blame for the ratings worries,” Curry says. “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.”
Ann will make an official announcement this morning on ‘Today.’ She was already scheduled to have Friday off, but it’s not known if this morning’s show will be her last. Possible replacements could be co-anchor Savannah Guthrie or Hoda Kotb. (Something tells me Hoda would be ecstatic to get away from Kathie Lee.) Curry will reportedly walk away with $10 million, while Lauer signed a multi year contract that will land him $25 million a year. Whatever the issues with ‘Today‘ were, are, I’m sure they weren’t all Ann Curry’s fault.
I can say that I will miss all of the colorful outfits and high heels she had been wearing lately.