UPDATE: Curry tearfully announced she was leaving Today on Thursday’s program. (See video below)
After more than a week of rumors predicting her departure, Ann Curry said she’ll officially announce she’s leaving the Today show on its Thursday broadcast, admitting she doesn’t feel she was given enough time to develop into the ace anchor the network initially pegged her as.
In a 40-minute phone interview Wednesday, Curry told USA Today she expects Thursday’s “going to be a bit of a tough day” as she ends a 15-year affiliation with the show, with just more than a year in the lead anchor role previously held by Meredith Vieira.
“I’m going to have to tell our viewers,” said Curry, who’s been touted as a reason the NBC morning juggernaut has lost a 16-year lead over its crosstown rival, ABC’s Good Morning America. “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.”
Curry, who said news leaked of her imminent departure has “hurt deeply,” added she thought she had improving chemistry with co-anchor Matt Lauer in her first year in the chair.
“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,” she said. “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.”
As if she would have liked more time to hone her craft as co-anchor, Curry said, “Oh, sure I would have.”
Curry, who has also worked on NBC Nightly News and Dateline NBC, will continue with the Peacock Network as a correspondent dealing with hard news stories. She credited NBC News president Steve Capus for convincing her to stay in the fold.
Savannah Guthrie, the MSNBC personality-turned-third hour host is reportedly the first name atop the list of potential replacements for Curry.