Following a week of rumors that she would be replaced, Ann Curry announced she would be stepping down as co-host of NBC's Today Show this morning. "Today is going to be my last morning as a regular co-host of Today," she said. "I will still be a part of the Today Show family, but I'm going to have a new title and a new role."
That new role, according to the MSNBC website, is Today Anchor-at-large and National / International Correspondant. Her salary and the length her new contract that came with the new title are unknown. What is known, though, is that in the position, reports USA Today, Curry will lead a team of seven people, covering "the world's biggest stories, from the civil uprising in Syria to the plight of the poor in America. She'll produce network specials and pieces for NBC Nightly News, Dateline, Rock Center- and Today- and she'll occasionally fill in as anchor on Nightly News and elsewhere."
Curry's reaction to the shift appears to be mixed. On one side, she says that her new role is a position that most journalists would dream of getting. She told USA Today, "In my secret heart of hearts, I see this as a thrilling opportunity. To have a ticket to every big story in the world - no small matter." She was given a fond farewell from her cohosts, who each shared their favorite story that Curry reported. There was no trace of acrimony and no talk of the show's dropping ratings when veteran Today host Matt Lauer, who sat beside Curry during her year-long tenure as co-anchor, said, "You have the biggest heart in the business. You put that on display every single day in this studio and you have for almost 20 years on this show. Most importantly, you've made us better, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts."
Yet, for her 15 years of service to the show, he exit was not given the same treatment as that of Vieira. If the decision to downplay her exit was a sort of censure, Curry countered with criticism of her own. She also acknowleged that she would have wanted more time in the co-anchor spot and that she feels she wasn't given enough of a chance to work out the rookie mistakes. "I just finished my freshman year as co-host," she told USA Today. "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." Some feelings other than excitement for the future -- disappointment, sorrow, and perhaps anger -- came closer to the surface as she said her goodbyes. As the Fox News website reports, she said, "This is not as I expected to ever leave this couch." Later, she addressed the viewers, saying, "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."
Curry's replacement has not been made official, but Savannah Guthrie -- host of Today's 9 o'clock hour -- is being named by a spectating media as the first choice for the job. Past anchors who held the presigeous position include Jane Pauley, Katie Couric, and Meredith Vieira.