The Today show is about to become yesterday’s news for Meredith Vieira.
In an announcement that should shock—oh, approximately no one—the morning show anchor today confirmed the worst-kept secret in Hollywood 30 Rock and announced she would be ending her five-year tenure in just a few weeks’ time.
“It’s a difficult day for me,” a clearly emotional Vieira said while flanked on the couch by the whole Today team. “I’m gonna try and hold myself together here, but after months of personal reflection and private conversations between my family and my friends, I have decided to leave Today in June.
“Even as I say this, and I know it is the right thing, I’m really sad, because in the past—I like to say 10 years, but I know it’s only 5—this has been my second home,” she continued, adding that she is “just humbled at what a great experience this has been for me.”
So what’s behind her decision to leave?
“I really have had a great time,” she explained. “Time is one of those weird things, you can never get enough of it, it just keeps ticking away, but I know I want to spend mine with my husband Richard and my kids.”
Her husband has made no secret of his battles with both multiple sclerosis and colon cancer.
“I really hope to stay in the NBC family, that is my goal, it just won’t be sitting at the couch everyday.”
So who will? In another non-shocking announcement, none other than Ann Curry.
“Suffice it to say that we all feel blessed to have had these last five or six years with you,” cohost Matt Lauer told Vieira. “You should know at home that Meredith is universally adored here at Today.”
He added that she has “brought class, dignity, talent and a joy of life to the show over the last five years. And we will miss you like crazy.” But “even as we are sad to say goodbye to Meredith, we are thrilled” that Ann will be taking over.
“Ann has been such a key member of this show for over 15 years,” he said.
“I just want you to know that you’ve been a gift to this broadcast,” Curry told Vieira, rounding out the lovefest. “You’ve been generous and you’ve been a great girlfriend. If I could choose, you would not go.”
Completing the Today show’s latest game of musical chairs is Chelsea Handler Natalie Morales, the third-hour cohost and news fill-in, who will permanently take over Curry’s newsdesk job. And as for Morales’ old gig? That’s going to MSNBC’s Savannah Guthrie.
No exact date has been announced as Vieira’s final day.
by GINA SERPE