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Meredith Vieira officially confirmed Monday that she’s leaving the Today show.
“This is a difficult day for me. I’m trying hard to hold it together,” she said while alternating between laughing and crying.
Co-host Matt Lauer said her final day will be “in a few weeks,” as The Hollywood Reporter revealed last month. Her contract ends in September, but her last day will be June 8.
She will be replaced by Ann Curry beginning June 9. Natalie Morales will become newsreader. White House correspondent and MSNBC anchor Savannah Guthrie will become the 9 a.m. anchor.
Vieira said she wants to spend more time with her husband and children, and that she decided to leave after “personal reflection and private conversation with friends.”
“Even as I say this, and I know it’s the right thing, I’m really sad,” she went on. This has been my second home.”
Said Curry, “if I could choose, you would not go.”
NBC News president Steve Capus said of Vieira in a statement, “While we will miss waking up with her each morning, we are working together on developing her next chapter at NBC News.”
Last fall, Vieira told Ladies Home Journal of the job, “I’ll know when it’s time to go, and I’m not afraid to go. … If I were to leave the show at the end of next year because it’s time for me, I wouldn’t jump into another show. I would look forward to not working, to traveling with [husband] Richard and carving out time for us.”
Vieira joined the show in 2006, replacing Katie Couric, who recently stepped down as anchor of the CBS Evening News. Today has been the top-rated news program for more than 800 weeks. Last year, it earned half a billion dollars in ad revenue for NBC in the weekday morning hours alone.
Today ep Jim Bell recently told THR rumors of Lauer leaving the show are “ludicrous.”
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