After weeks of rumors and then everything short of confirmation that Ann Curry would be leaving the Today show, the co-anchor finally announced her departure this morning, in a surprisingly emotional farewell. Curry had been hosting the show alongside Matt Lauer for just a year, after more than a decade as the show's news reader, but the network appeared to be blaming her lack of chemistry in the co-host chair with the show's slipping ratings.

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"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," Curry said this morning, while surrounded by Lauer, Al Roker and Natalie Morales. When the show came back from commercial break the woman widely rumored to be Curry's replacement, Savannah Guthrie, was sitting in her chair, which lends a lot of credence to the stories that Guthrie will be in place as co-host in time for the Olympics in late July. Despite at one point asking for a hefty buyout from her NBC contract entirely, Curry will stick around as a correspondent for NBC News, as she told USA Today. As they described it, she'll have "a ticket to cover the world's biggest stories" for NBC Nightly News, Dateline, Rock Center and even Today. She sounds enthusiastic about the reporting challenges, but reading between the lines it's clear that there are wounds from her forced Today departure as well:

"You know, Matt and I have had great on-air chemistry for 14 years, been part of the No. 1 winning team for a history-making number of years. That said, I just finished my freshman year as co-host. In every single co-host's first year, there have been kinks to be worked out, and perhaps I deserve as much blame for that as anyone."

The role of co-host on the Today show is obviously one of the most high-profile gigs in TV news, but it seems clear to absolutely everyone-- including herself-- that Ann Curry is not that well suited to it. Today is often about fluff and cult of personality, and Ann Curry is a much more serious news lady, who really would rather be in Syria reporting a dangerous story than hanging out in Studio 1A with a celebrity chef. The deal seems like a win-win for everybody-- and once the heat around this story has cooled, maybe we'll be able to start seeing it that way as well.

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