Ann Curry will host the 'Today Show' for the final time on Thursday (June 28, 2012), ending weeks of speculation concerning her future on the popular morning program. After a recent rating slump - which has seen 'Good Morning America' close the gap on its long-time rival - it appears as though Curry has been singled out as the one to take the hit.
According to Usa Today, Curry will tell viewers on Thursday's show that she is leaving as co-host after a year in the job. Her departure has been expected for some time, though she has reportedly negotiated a pay-off of around $10 million to cover the remaining years on her contract. According to the Hollywood Reporter, her job has been offered to Savannah Guthrie, though an NBC spokesperson was unable to confirm this. Since Curry moved from news-reader to co-host in June 2011, the show's viewer margin over ABC's 'Good Morning America' has shrunk dramatically, with the latter even winning the ratings battle for the first time in years. With Curry's predecessor Meredith Vieira and Matt Lauer at the helm, the 'Today' show led by at least 650,000 viewers, and some reports have even suggested that Nbc bosses sounded out Vieira for a possible return to the show, though she declined their offer.
The network will be desperate to get the on-screen chemistry right, having recently committed to a new contract for Matt Lauer worth a reported $25 million per year.