After the awkward announcement by Ann Curry herself this morning that she would be leaving the Today show as a co-anchor, it seems everyone has an opinion on the announcement video. In addition to Curry choking up while thanking viewers, it also had Al Roker, Natalie Morales and Matt Lauer sharing memories and goodbyes. It was a bit uncomfortable all around, to say the least.
Curry’s critics said her personality never really meshed with the more upbeat morning-news format, while her supporters say Curry was a scapegoat for NBC’s ratings woes. Many EW readers were quick to point out that this was similar to how Conan O’Brien was unceremoniously dumped less than a year into his own new contract with NBC.
In an interview with USA Today last night, Curry talked about the week-long open speculation about her job, and admitted, “I don’t know who has been behind the leaks, but no question they’ve hurt deeply.” She also shot down the criticism that part of the problem was her apparent lack of on-screen chemistry with Lauer. “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.”
In a statement, NBC announced this morning that Curry will be taking on a new role as NBC News National and International Correspondent/Anchor and Today Anchor at Large. Her new role is effective immediately and also includes a long-term deal with NBC News.
In the same statement, Today show executive producer Jim Bell said, “I know of only one journalist who in just a matter of years has travelled [sic] to Sudan six times, broken exclusive world news with top world leaders, and broadcast live from both the South Pole and Mount Kilimanjaro. Ann has quite literally reached amazing heights in her career, and with this new role, she will continue her intrepid climb bringing viewers her signature brand of humanitarian reporting.”
Knowing all that, the question remains: How do you think NBC handled the Curry situation?