Ann Curry announced the end of her run as the Today show's co-anchor Thursday morning, after days of speculation that she was being fired amid low ratings.
Curry gave an emotional goodbye in a raspy voice that betrayed her sorrow -- and reinforced widespread belief that the decision to leave the show was not hers.
After all these years I don't even know if I can sleep in anymore, she said.
Since news broke of Curry's imminent departure earlier this week, there has been much speculation as to why Curry is departing the show after one year.
The longtime host's name has frequently come up alongside discussions of a ratings drop.
When you look at the trend line, the narrowing of the ratings race began almost precisely when Curry replaced (Meredith) Vieira, network-news analyst and Tyndall Report publisher Andrew Tyndall told USA Today.
Curry's critics noted that she seemed uncomfortable with and ill-suited for the role of a Today host.
Dodai Stewart of Jezebel, for example, wrote that the job just might have been a bad fit for the hard news journalist, who is also an accomplished photographer. When she's on location in the field -- for instance, when she went to Darfur with George Clooney --- Ann Curry is relaxed, focused, professional, Stewart said. In the studio, however, she generally comes off as awkward, fake, filled with false concern. Often, she doesn't ask questions but just makes breathy statements, and the subjects she's interviewing are baffled at how best to respond.
Curry might be getting some money for her troubles in the form of a severance package. According to New York Magazine, Curry may receive $10 million dollars.
The next big question is who will will replace Curry on Today. Among the names that have been thrown around are Samantha Guthrie, Hoda Kotb and Natalie Morales, according to an Us Weekly report. All three women already work for NBC and Today.
Curry will continue to work for NBC. She said NBC is giving her some fancy new titles and that she will get to go around the country and the world with a team of her choosing.
Doesn't sound too shabby, but Curry was still visibly sad and upset over the high-profile firing.
I'm so sorry I've turned into a sob sister this morning, she said. Please forgive me, but I hope you'll wish me well.
Fans do wish her well.
Anchor Anne Allred was one who tweeted her support for Curry: #AnnCurry will announce this morning she is leaving ?#Today [sic] I've truly enjoyed watching her all these years and wish her the best of luck.
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