One of the worst-kept secrets in television finally came to light yesterday, when Ann Curry announced that she was leaving her year-old post as co-host of the Today show, after spending 15 years at the news desk. News of Curry's impending departure (and subsequent offer of $10 million from NBC to leave) leaked last week, but she showed true class by appearing to not let the rumors affect her performance.
Her tearful goodbye yesterday was all the more poignant because it appears she has bought into the conventional wisdom that she is to blame for Today's losing ground to, and even getting beaten by, Good Morning America in the ratings. The truth is, while perhaps Curry wasn't completely suited for the softer role as co-host after 15 years of harder news reporting, and the chemistry between her and Matt Lauer wasn't as strong as it was between Lauer and Meredith Vieira, the show's shift toward fluffier stories and more celebrity involvement hasn't helped the show's ratings either. And Matt Lauer isn't always the warmest person to begin with now that he's ascended the throne.
Still, it was a sad way to end Curry's involvement with the show. While it certainly seems as if she's headed for better things more in her wheelhouse, she deserved better treatment after 15 years. And watching the video of her farewell, it appears like she knew where some of her trouble came from, because she didn't look Matt Lauer in the eye when he talked about how much she'd be missed.
Thanks for 15 terrific years, Ann. I look forward to seeing you in a more expanded role soon!