June 27, 2012 6:37 PM
Ann Curry will step down on Thursday morning from her co-host chair on NBC’s “Today” show, capping weeks of private negotiations with the network officials who have been trying to ease her out of the job that she has held for just over a year.
Ms. Curry said in an interview with USA Today that she will address her departure on the show. “I’m going to have to tell our viewers,” she said. “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.”
She confirmed in the interview that the exit was NBC’s idea, not her own, and said she considered leaving the network altogether. Instead, she has accepted a proposal to become a roving correspondent for the network. Although co-hosting “Today” was her dream job, she said, “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.”
Earlier this week, NBC officials began negotiations with Savannah Guthrie, Ms. Curry’s expected replacement on the show. But Ms. Guthrie will most likely not be mentioned when Ms. Curry informs viewers about her intentions to leave “Today.”
The USA Today interview, representing Ms. Curry’s first public comments on the matter, was published early on Thursday morning, hours after The New York Times reported that she was likely to announce her departure on Thursday.
NBC has not commented on her status at the show since last week, when The Times reported that the network had offered her a new position within the news division. The offer was made after senior NBC executives concluded that they had miscast Ms. Curry as the co-host of “Today” alongside Matt Lauer, who has held the job for more than 15 years. In April, Mr. Lauer renewed his contract at the network.
Ms. Curry rebuffed the offer at first, according to several people with knowledge of the negotiations, but in recent days she has come to accept it.
Ms. Curry’s attorney, Robert B. Barnett, did not respond to a request for comment about the announcement plans. A spokeswoman for NBC News declined to comment.
The transition is exceedingly delicate because “Today” is a profit center for NBC, responsible for nearly $500 million in advertising revenue a year, according to the research firm Kantar Media. Despite pressure from ABC’s “Good Morning America,” it remains the No. 1-rated morning show most days.
Last Thursday, the morning after the negotiations were reported, “Today” beat “G.M.A.” by about half a million viewers, its best margin in two weeks. People at both networks attributed this to curiosity about whether Ms. Curry would come into work — and indeed she did, and continued to do so through Wednesday. Ms. Curry and Mr. Lauer have made no mention of her expected exit on the show.
For several days now, NBC officials have been weighing Thursday for an announcement by Ms. Curry, in part because she is scheduled to be off Friday. The officials are eager to make the change at “Today” ahead of the Summer Olympics, which will be broadcast by NBC beginning in late July.
On Wednesday, when the network held a news conference to promote its Olympics coverage, the NBCUniversal chief executive Stephen B. Burke said he viewed the Games as a chance “to revitalize the ‘Today’ show.”
Jim Bell, who is the executive producer of both “Today” and the Olympics coverage, declined to comment on the transition plans at the news conference.
The network may wait until early July to publicly name Ms. Guthrie as Ms. Curry’s successor. Ms. Guthrie is currently the co-host of the 9 a.m. hour of “Today” and the chief legal correspondent for the news division.
The people with close ties to NBC said that Tamron Hall, an anchor for the cable news channel MSNBC and a frequent fill-in host on “Today,” is the leading contender to replace her at 9 a.m.
Ann Curry was born on November 19th, 1956 according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ann_curry
November 19th, 1956
11 + 19 +1+9+5+6 = 51 = her life lesson = The cold, hard facts.
November 19th, 1956
11 + 19 +2+0+1+1 = 34 = her personal year (from November 19th, 2011 to November 18th, 2012) = Not generating enough of a ratings buzz.
34 year + 6 (June) = 40 = her personal month (from June 19th, 2012 to July 18th, 2012) = Doing her part.
40 year + 28 (28th of the month on Thursday June 28th, 2012) = 68 = her personal day = Worth studying.
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