Ann Curry's Tearful Goodbye
"Today is going to be my last morning as a regular co-host of Today."
Ann Curry made the dramatic announcement on the Today show this morning, leaving no doubt that her departure was not her choice.
"This is not how I expected to leave this couch after 15 years, but I am so grateful, especially to all of you who watch," said Curry.
The tears quickly turned to sobs as Curry spoke directly to viewers, telling them, "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. So to all of you who watch, thank you from the bottom of my heart."
While she's staying at NBC, her remarks seemed tinged with bitterness.
"They are giving me some fancy new titles, which essentially means that I'm going to get tickets to every big story we want to cover, with a terrific team of my choosing. We are going to go all over the world and all over the country," said Curry.
The New York Times' Brian Stelter broke the news last week that Curry was being booted from her "dream job" as co-host of the Today show. He told INSIDE EDITION, "In her comments on the show, she had finally accepted NBC's decision, but she wasn't fully okay with it. She seemed like somebody who wanted another chance to prove herself."
As the rest of the Today show team watched Curry's tearful farewell, awkwardness oozed from all sides.
CEO of Media Training Worldwide, TJ Walker, told INSIDE EDITION, "The body language on the set was reserved. It was almost like they were at a funeral. Things were tight, things were cramped, at one moment Matt goes to give her a kiss and he ends up kissing the back of her head."
After Curry's goodbye, just like that, she was gone. At 9 o'clock, viewers saw Savannah Guthrie, Curry's reported replacement, front and center on the couch, the newly crowned queen-in-waiting.
Stelter told INSIDE EDITION, "NBC will probably announce her as a new co-host within next few days, maybe in a week or two, but definitely before the Olympics. NBC sees the Olympics as a big chance to revitalize the Today show."
Since Curry took over last June, ratings have fallen. However, she told USA Today, "I know I am not to blame." She "bristled" at the suggestion she lacked "chemistry" with Matt Lauer.
Reaction to Curry's announcement was swift across the TV airwaves.
Hoda Kotb said, "Kind of a sad day for everybody."
Whoopi Goldberg commented on The View, "All of the stuff that was heaped on her, from all the anonymous sources that said it's all her fault that the show isn't doing well in terms of ratings, they blamed it all on her."
Appearing on CNN's Piers Morgan, INSIDE EDITION's Deborah Norville, a former co-host of the Today show, had some reassuring words for Curry.
"It doesn't mean the end of her career, and I think that's the important thing that she personally should realize, because she is a talented journalist. She's got a great future ahead of her. This may be a pothole in the road of her career, but it is certainly not the cliff that she is going to drive off," said Norville.