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Ann Curry exits 'Today' show amid ratings slump (+video)

Ann Curry said 'good bye' Thursday to viewers of the Today show. Ann Curry will remain as a TV correspondent for NBC, but will no longer co-host the Today show.

Ann Curry bids a tearful goodbye to Today show
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Ann Curry offered a tearful goodbye as co-host of NBC's "Today" show on Thursday, saying "this is not as I expected to ever leave this couch."

Her exit represents NBC's most visible response to the popular morning show's worst stretch in the ratings in nearly two decades. "Today" hadn't lost a single week since 1996, but this spring it was beaten four times by ABC's resurgent "Good Morning America."

Curry's exit marked a stark contrast to the lengthy tribute shows given to predecessors Meredith Vieira and Katie Couric. She announced it during the final five minutes of her shift on Thursday, ending a week of awkward television as she continued working after word spread that NBC was looking to oust her.

"For all of you who saw me as a groundbreaker, I'm sorry I couldn't carry the ball over the finish line but, man, I did try," she said, breaking down.

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Curry joined the show as a news anchor in 1997. Passed over for the co-host job when Vieira replaced Couric, she was given the chance when Vieira left last June. But her pairing with co-host Matt Lauer never seemed to click and she took the fall for the show's ratings troubles.

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