Update: Curry didn't do much to sugarcoat her disappointment during her very emotional on-air goodbye, and she focused on her love for viewers. "This is not as I expected -- to ever leave this couch after 15 years. But I am so grateful, especially to all of you who watch," she said. "I have loved you and I have wanted to give you the world and I still do." She added: "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." Sad!
Original: Ann Curry will announce on Thursday morning's edition of Today that she is leaving the show for another job at the network, but she also made it clear that she's being pushed out against her will.
In an interview with USA Today published late last night. Curry confirmed the rumors that she will be leaving the morning show, but will remain with the NBC News division as an "anchor-at-large." The new gig, created specifically for her, will place Curry in charge of a seven-person unit "with a ticket to cover the world's biggest stories" for NBC Nightly News, Dateline, and Today, as well as one-off specials and the occasional fill-in spot for Nightly News anchor Brian Williams.
That might seem to some like a better job than co-hosting the morning show, but Curry is clearly upset about leaving Today and the way NBC handled the move. She took some of the blame for the show's declining ratings, but complains that she was not given an opportunity to turn things around.
"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."
Does she think she was given enough time to work out those kinks? "No, I do not," she says flatly.
Curry also said the leaks about the behind-the-scenes moves "hurt deeply", including one earlier this week that said her job had already been offered to co-worker Samantha Guthrie before it was even announced that Curry was leaving. She also took a subtle dig at the less-than-serious work that Today sometimes does to win ratings saying, "There is no doubt that the rating wars have become meaner and less focused on our responsibilities as journalists."
Curry's comments make it obvious that Today was her preferred job — "I don't want to leave [the viewers.] I love them. And I will really miss them." — and that she feels burned by the bosses who forced her out. She admitted that she considered leaving the network altogether, but was talked into her new contract in order to make the best of a bad situation.
"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."
Given the opportunity to return to serious news, it's hard not to think that's true, even if she has to do it at the network that just embarrassed her.