Ann Curry Flees to California as NBC Says She's Out Because Her Best Wasn't Good Enough

Illustration for article titled Ann Curry Flees to California as NBC Says Shes Out Because Her Best Wasnt Good Enough

Savannah Guthrie may have quietly slipped into Ann Curry's Today Show chair on Friday morning, but we're all still reeling a bit from her abrupt departure. Steve Capus, president of NBC News, explained in no uncertain terms why Ann was shown the door:

We gave her a year to prove herself, and ultimately we came to the conclusion that she had played at the highest level she could. When you're in the major leagues of our profession, you've got to continue to be at peak performance in order to stay there.

Oooch. But Capus swears it's not a bad thing:

[M]y belief is a year from now when Ann has a shelf full of new awards for her journalistic work, she's going to recognize that this is a real opportunity for the next phase of her career to go in a direction that suits her strengths.


Perhaps, but for the moment Ann seem to needs some space. To that end, she did the best possible thing after she signed off on her last Today broadcast: she got the hell out of Dodge. She reportedly left 30 Rock and—still teary-eyed—went straight to the airport to hop on a plane to California. She is there to attend the wedding of a friend, which will hopefully be a welcome distraction from the shitshow of the past few weeks. She's only got so long to pull her famous heart off of her sleeve and insert it back into her chest, though, because she's got to report to London for Olympics duty at the end of this month.

NBC News Chief on Ann Curry's 'Today' Departure: 'It Was Not Where Her Real Passion Was' (Exclusive) [THR]
Ann flies to a happier place [New York Post]

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I admit I haven't followed this story too closely. But am I the only one who thinks this makes Matt Lauer look like a dick? It seems like a witchhunt where he's just been a bystander. Obviously he is the "Today" brand. He can throw his weight around. And evidently he threw it against Ann Curry. Maybe this whole being beaten by GMA thing got to him. Either way, I don't think he comes across very well from this story. It seems like the epitome of the dog eat dog world of American TV. Where no one even considers actual values because the industry has been like this for so long. People just shrug their shoulders.

I mean, what kind of brand are we expected to come away from this in terms of Today? Are these principled, "you never throw a colleague under the bus" type people? No. I submit that they're the opposite. And where is the heart of that show, exactly? Why are we watching?