The New York Independent

Ann Curry Departs Today in Totally Botched NBC Firing (watch)

Ann Curry made a tearful departure from NBC’s “Today Show” this morning (June 28) in what has turned out to be a thoroughly botched transition.

The situation suggests NBC has far bigger problems than Curry’s presence next to Matt Lauer. But the drama isn’t over yet.

Numerous reports this morning, including one in The New York Times, suggest that Savannah Gutherie will be the next co-host on the coveted “Today Show” couch.

That leaves Natalie Morales out in the cold for the second time. Now the question becomes, will the next shoe drop? Will she quit as she has allegedly threatened?

To make matters worse, the whole fiasco has played out against a backdrop of scandal involving host Lauer. His squeaky clean image has taken a major hit over allegations he had an affair with Morales in 2006 and may have even fathered her child. Both have denied the affair.

Marital strife between Lauer and his current wife, Annette Lauer, also allegedly factored into the decision. The National Enquirer reported that she was ready to divorce the host if Morales got the job.

The transition was finally set in motion, officially, today when Curry bid viewers farewell. “This is not how I expected to leave this couch after 15 years, but I am so grateful,” she said in a voice choked with emotion. Curry was the news reader on the show before moving into the co-host’s role.

Previous co-hosts Katie Couric and Meredith Viera left a void that Curry couldn’t seem to fill. Some reports claim that Lauer didn’t like working with her.

The final catalyst for the change was a slip in the ratings. ABC’s “Good Morning America” topped the show the first time in 16 years.

Rumors of Curry’s departure surfaced last week, touching off a donnybrook of media speculation that made the network look inept and clumsy at best, and cruel at worst. Until it came down to this.

“After all of these years, I don’t even know if I can sleep in anymore. I’m not even sure that I can. But I know that whatever time I wake up, I’ll be missing you,” Curry said.

“For all of you who saw me as a groundbreaker, I’m sorry I couldn’t carry the ball to the finish line, but man I did try.”

Check out the video below:

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