June 28 (Bloomberg) -- Ann Curry will leave as co-host of NBC’s “Today” show following ratings gains by ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
Curry, 55, made the announcement during the program’s live broadcast today and said she will still do special news assignments and report from the Olympics for NBC.
The move is aimed at protecting NBC’s lead in viewers after “Good Morning America” topped “Today” in weekly Nielsen audience ratings in April for the first time in 16 years. NBC’s weekday morning show has trailed “GMA” on several other occasions over the past two months.
“I will still be a part of the ‘Today’ show family but I’m going to have a new title and a new role,” Curry said on this morning’s broadcast. “They’re giving me some fancy new titles which essentially means that I’m going to get tickets to every big story we want to cover with a terrific team of my choosing.”
Curry spent 14 years as news anchor of “Today” before succeeding Meredith Vieira as co-host last year. Savannah Guthrie, a 9 a.m. co-host, is negotiating with the Comcast Corp.-controlled network to replace Curry in July, the New York Times said yesterday.
In her new role, Curry will report for all areas of NBC News, including “Today,” “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams” and “Dateline.” She’ll also have a presence on MSNBC and on NBC’s digital platforms, according to a statement today. Curry will also anchor NBC News prime time specials.
Curry said in an interview with USA Today that she wasn’t given enough time on the program to fix “kinks” that occurred in her year as co-host. She told the newspaper that she isn’t to blame for the ratings slip.
The NBC broadcast network generated $1.85 billion of revenue in the first quarter, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. “Today” brings in almost $500 million in annual advertising revenue, the Times reported.
Comcast, based in Philadelphia, is the largest U.S. cable TV service and holds a controlling stake in NBC Universal, which includes the NBC network, Universal Pictures film studio, theme parks and cable channels E!, USA and MSNBC.
Curry anchored “Dateline NBC” from May 2005 until September 2011, according to her “Today” website biography. She joined NBC News in August 1990 as a Chicago-based correspondent.
Comcast was unchanged at $31.04 at the close in New York. The shares have climbed 31 percent this year.
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