Ann Curry's Goodbye: The Verdict Is in 12 Hours Later
TV writers and the Twittersphere seem to agree: It all could have been handled better.
"Because of the Olympics, the new Today team will get plenty of sampling [this summer]," he wrote. "Come September, though, if the show is still struggling to hold off [ABC's] GMA, the NBC brass may have to look at more than who's on camera in trying to figure out how to fix the show."
The New York Daily News' David Hinckley noted that the segment had a different vibe than previous sendoffs for departing co-hosts.
"The tone of her departure was in marked contrast to most past Today transitions, including the one where Curry took over from Vieira last year," he wrote, adding that "the tone of the farewells was colored ... by Curry's obvious reluctance to leave. She clasped hands with Morales and at the end Lauer kissed her on the side of the head."
He also noted that Curry was not mentioned again after that segment ended.
"After she finished and the show broke for local news, the team skipped its usual wrap-up walk out on the Rockefeller Center plaza," he wrote. "The cameras went right back to the studio, where Guthrie was in the seat Curry had occupied. They went straight into promotion for the 9 a.m. hour."
Even MTV News weighed in on Curry's exit. In a post titled "Was It Fair for Today to Only Give Ann Curry a Single-Segment Goodbye?" John Mitchell wrote that Curry "deserved better," noting that "her exit stands in stark contrast to the one" give to Meredith Vieira, whom Curry replaced just over a year ago.
"Watching [Curry's] brief and sincere farewell and subsequent disappearance from the screen, we were saddened that she wasn't given a more proper goodbye," he wrote. "While her year as co-host was rocky, she has been with the show and, in some capacity, with NBC News for nearly two decades. She deserved better. Perhaps not an entire show, like [Meredith] Vieira [whom Curry replaced] got, and certainly not a false, happy-go-lucky farewell celebration, but an extra segment or two celebrating her years-long contribution to the show. Maybe some clips of the wonderful news reporting and serious interviews she contributed. While she lacked the lightness to host, Curry brought a great deal of depth to Today, and that's no small thing -- the show needs both to succeed the way it long has."
He argued that the sendoff didn't properly show viewers "that her years in Rockefeller Center were as appreciated as they deserved to be."
The Huffington Post also noted the difference between the sendoffs given to Vieira and Curry.
"Ann Curry's 'Today' tenure comes to an end," HuffPost Media tweeted. "Meredith Vieira got a two-hour farewell. Curry was given 5 minutes after 15 years on the show."
TMZ's Harvey Levin also was critical of the segment as well as Lauer.
"You could feel tension when Matt Lauer was touting Ann Curry--she turned away when he kissed her," he tweeted. "He wanted her out and made it clear to NBC."
Echoed author James Robinson Jr. (Fighting the Effects of Gravity): "Ann Curry definitely got tossed under the bus today. As she gave her tearful goodbye she didn't get much comfort from her 'loyal' cohorts."
Several viewers also hit Twitter to express their displeasure at Curry's exit. Among the tweets:
@todayshow how could u do that to ann curry after 15+ years. i will be wathing gma from now on..say good bye to this loyal viewer..
@AnnCurry Very upset that Ann Curry is leaving ,,,...good luck with your show (I will be watching something else).
ANN CURRY got a RAW deal. Ratings, my a**! It's nothing but AGEISM & DISCRIMINATION toward women. Shame on you, NBC.
IT'S NOT THE TODAY SHOW WITHOUT ANN CURRY! WHY DOES NOBODY FEEL MY PAIN! D: