‘It hurt like hell’: Ann Curry Opens Up About Leaving ‘Today’ Show
Former “Today” show host Ann Curry has, after five years years, finally opened up about her departure from the morning show in an exclusive interview with People magazine and is set to go on air with CBS about the #MeToo movement and her former co-host Matt Lauer.
Curry was with the network for almost 25 years years and was a co-host of the “Today” show with Matt Lauer for one year before she was let go from the show in 2012.
Her departure had long been rumored before executives made the announcement, as had that Lauer had wanted her off the show.
In his book “Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV,” CNN’s Brian Stelter wrote “Ann Curry flunked chemistry badly almost as soon as she was elevated to the co-host position in 2011.”
“When Capus, the news division president, told [Lauer] that Curry was going to be his new cohost, he said only, “OK, but…”
“The but was that their on-air chemistry had been lacking big-time in the more than two hundred times she’d filled in for Couric and Vieria,” Stelter explains in the book.
Despite not having Lauer’s support, Curry wanted to remain on the “Today” show, and said she it “hurt like hell” when she was forced to leave.
“It hurt a lot to feel like you weren’t wanted anymore, so I can’t lie about that,” she told People.
“But I learned a lot about myself. I can say I’ve done nothing wrong. I’ve been honest and true. I’ve tried to stay pure. I’ve tried to not respond in a knee-jerk manner, and I’ve stayed very close to who I am. So it hurt, but I’m also proud of myself.”
“Experience has taught me, as a journalist, the number one thing you have to be is humble,” she said. “It’s not about you.”
Her position changed to “global anchor” after she left as a regular host, and she remained with the network for another three years.
“I do know from experience that anger does weigh you down, and it’s very hard to rise with it, unless you can channel it,” she told People.
“But I had to let go. And I learned that when you not only let go but open your arms wide and learn the lessons that an experience—no matter how bad—can teach you, that’s when you rise.”
In 2015, she left to pursue other ventures and she says it came with a very big silver lining.
“I’ve been able to make up for a lot of lost time with my children, my family, I mean family really is everything. People say that and it sounds trite, but it’s true,” she told People.
After Lauer was let go from “Today” for alleged sexual misconduct, she had very little to say about her former co-host.
“I’m still really processing it,” she told People a few days after the news broke.
“I admire the women who have been willing to speak up both anonymously and on the record. Those women need to keep their jobs, and all women need to be able to work, to be able to thrive, without fear. This kind of behavior exists across industries, and it is so long overdue for it to stop,” she said.
“This is a moment when we all need to be a beacon of light for those women, for all women, and for ourselves.”
She sat down for her first televised interview with CBS’s “This Morning” on Wednesday about Lauer and the #MeToo movement on sexual assault.
In her cover story for People, due out on newsstands Friday, Curry hinted that she had either witnessed or experienced sexual misconduct in the workplace.
“Most of the men I’ve worked with have been exemplary,” she told People, according to E News.
“I feel real hope that change is coming, that our daughters are not going to have to face what the majority of women in this country who’ve entered the workplace have had to face,” she added.
Since she left NBC, Curry has been working on a six-part docuseries called “We’ll Meet Again,” that follows people who are trying to track down an individual who has profoundly changed their life. The PBS series is due out on Jan. 23.
“I’ve always thought of journalism as a service profession,” she told People. “I’m in it to give, not to get. This show lets me explore people’s beautiful wishes to reconnect with the people who helped them survive.”