It’s official! Ann Curry tells the “Today” show "Arrivederci!"
Her eyes teary and her voice hoarse, the anchor confirmed the news in a live Thursday broadcast of the “Today” show as her co-hosts Matt Lauer, Albert Lincoln Roker, and Natalie Morales sadly told Curry how they have loved working with her.
“This is not easy to say, but today will be my last morning as a regular co-host on 'Today',” said Curry. "I am so grateful, especially to all of you who watch… We often call ourselves a family, but you [viewers] are the real ‘Today how’ family.”
Curry thanked the audience for their support.
“Every time I wake up I will be missing you,” said Curry. “For all of you who saw me as a groundbreaker, I’m sorry I couldn’t carry the ball to the finish line,” Curry continued, her voice cracking.“But man, I did try.”
NBC reportedly decided to let go of Ann Curry because of a ratings plunge.
The show was the top morning show for 852 weeks, until ABC's "Good Morning America" broke their winning streak in April.
A somber looking Lauer told Curry her contributions to the “Today” show have been invaluable.
“You have the biggest heart,” Lauer said. “The way you care about people comes through every day,” he told Curry. He later then embraced and kissed a crying Curry on the head.
Rocker told Curry he would never forget when she covered the tsunami and how he was impressed with the way she used Twitter and social media to bring a family together.
Like Roker, Morales told Curry she appreciated the coverage Curry provided of military families in the United States, as she too wiped her eyes and hugged Curry tightly.
“I’m proud of the show,” Curry added.
In a 40 minute interview Curry told USA Today on Wednesday that preparing to make the announcement of leaving the “Today” show would be “tough.”
"I'm going to have to tell our viewers,” she continued. “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."
Curry says that she is not aware of who leaked out information in regards to the ordeal, but that she is quite wounded.
"I don't know who has been behind the leaks, but no question they've hurt deeply," Curry told USA Today.
In regards to getting $10 million to $20 million a year as a severance package, she says those rumors are simply untrue and that she’d “love to earn that much" one day.
Despite having to leave “Today” Curry will have a significant role in the network as a unit will be created for her where she will be covering in depth national and international reporting.
“I would be trying to give voice to the citizens of Syria," Curry told USA Today. "I would be trying to understand and report what the women in Egypt are thinking and worrying about after the elections there. I would be spending time with the new poor in America, trying to understand how families will be making that shift with the economy we're facing."
Curry said that makes her happy, since over the past year of co-hosting the “Today” show she says she has limited travel and not many chances to cover those types of stories.
Now the drama lies on who will replace Curry.
After her farewell, the “Today” show came back from a commercial break with "Today" show anchor Savannah Guthrie sitting -- head held high -- where Curry was whimpering a few minutes earlier.
This adds more fuel to the rumors that have been swirling about who will be replacing Curry and if Morales got snubbed from the co-anchor gig.
There has been speculation that veteran journalist Natalie Morales might tell the 'Today' show to take a hike if she is not offered the co-host gig with Matt Lauer.
Morales, who is Puerto Rican and Brazilian, is technically next in line to take over as No. 2.
The New York Times reported that the show's third-hour anchor, Guthrie, was offered the job.
If Morales is passed over for the job, which she has reportedly sought for years, she's leaving, a source told the New York Post.
For now, Guthrie has kept mum about the job offer.
Morales has been with the "Today" show since 2006. She was named as a possible candidate to replace Meredith Vieira when she stepped down as co-anchor last year. This time around, her name has been mentioned but most of speculation as to who will be offered the job has centered around Guthrie and Hoda Gotb, who co-hosts the show's fourth hour.
"This will be the second time [Natalie] has been passed over for the top job. And she's not happy," the source told the Post.
When NBC Universal was contacted they said the rumors about Morales' departure were "totally untrue."
"Natalie couldn't be happier in her current role," another source told the New York Post.