As expected, ANN CURRY announced that she was leaving the "Today" show yesterday . . . and as expected, she was FORCED OUT.
--Fighting through tears on the show, she said, quote, "This is not easy to say, but today is going to be my last morning as a regular co-host of 'Today'. I will still be a part of the 'Today' show family but I'm going to have a new title and a new role.
--"This is not as I expected, to ever leave this couch after 15 years . . . but [they're] giving me some fancy new titles, which essentially mean that I'm going to get tickets to every big story [NBC News] covers, with a terrific team of my choosing . . .
--"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."
--MATT LAUER said that Ann has "the biggest heart in the business," and he talked about some of the "extraordinary" work she did that he'll "never forget."
--There's no official word on her replacement, but it sounds like it's going to be SAVANNAH GUTHRIE. In the future, you'll see Ann all over NBC . . . that includes "NBC Nightly News", "Dateline", "Rock Center" and even the "Today" show.
(--You can find video on the "Today" show's website.)
(--I don't think it's "reading between the lines" all that much to point out the awkward tension between Ann and Matt . . . especially at the very end of the clip when Matt goes in to kiss Ann on the cheek.)
(--Ann also seems to have trouble making eye contact with Matt . . . if she isn't avoiding it altogether.)
RELATED COMEDY #1: Ann Curry is out at "The Today Show". There was lots of tears and blubbering on the set. Then Kathie Lee found her wine and all was fine.
RELATED COMEDY #2: Ann Curry gave a tearful goodbye on her last day as co-host of "The Today Show". And even though it was her last day at work, Al Roker STILL wouldn't leave her a single jelly doughnut.