At 8:50 this morning, Ann Curry signed off as Today show co-host. It was a teary scene, and Ann was heart-breakingly apologetic, saying: "For all of you, who saw me as a groundbreaker, I'm sorry I couldn't carry the ball over the finish line… but I did try." Ouch. Matt Lauer offered a few words about Ann's contributions to the show, noting that she has "the biggest heart," which is a comment on her emotions, not her reporting skills. Matt also said, "It's not goodbye." But his body language was terribly casual — one arm up on the couch because yes, he owns the damn place — and the kiss he placed on Ann's head is best described as perfunctory. Al Roker and Natalie Morales each embraced Ann with hugs. No televised hug from Matt.
In an interview with USA Today, Ann said: "I don't know who has been behind the leaks, but no question they've hurt deeply." According to the paper, Ann's new contract with NBC —
has her leading a seven-person unit with a ticket to cover the world's biggest stories, from the civil uprising in Syria to the plight of the poor in America. She'll produce network specials and pieces for NBC Nightly News, Dateline, Rock Center- and Today- and she'll occasionally fill in as anchor on Nightly News and elsewhere.