Ann Curry Wears Heart on Sleeve with Tearful Goodbye

5 years ago

Today Ann Curry said a tearful goodbye as co-host of the Today Show. With class, professionalism, and grace she navigated a tough on-air situation under even more difficult circumstances.

No matter who you are career demotions are demoralizing and emotional. Be a top executive or someone who is a prominent public personality like Curry and the public nature of the change becomes amplified. That is why when rumors leaked last week that NBC was replacing Curry, the web went wild with speculations. Some confirmed true (that she was leaving and staying on at NBC as a journalist) while others partial or mistruths (like that she was getting $10 million in the move which she says is not true). Shortly after the rumor mill started, Forbes "Behind the Scenes of a Public Demotion" hit the web with a thoughtful look at the situation.

Navigating a dismissal in public can amplify an already contentious situation. “It makes it tough when everyone is commenting on it,” says Robert Thompson, the founding ­director of the Bleier Center for Television & Popular Culture at Syracuse University. “If Ann doesn’t talk about it, then it’s not a big deal. She moved into the position quietly, and she can move out quietly without turning it into a massive story.”

Credit Image: © Sonia Moskowitz Globe Photos/

OK, maybe, but as anyone who has worked in a large corporation when there were select or mass layoffs knows, pretending something isn't happening is silly. I can remember one situation when I worked for a Fortune 100 company. My manager acted as if everything were sun and roses regarding reorganization announcements. Then all of a sudden our team didn't exist and half of the people were without jobs. I'm no Miss Manners, but that just screams awkward and does nothing to earn the trust of the masses.

In terms of facts, it is clear that The Today Show is no longer the dominent force it once was. ABC's Good Morning America broke NBC's 16-year winning streak in April (it has taken 3 weeks since then). By no means is that a death knell, but it certainly makes executives perk up. Many people feel that Curry is taking the fall for it though both NBC executives and Curry deny those reports.

From the only interview Ann Curry granted (USA Today):

While she describes her new job as one that any journalist would crave, she makes no secret that the very public process that pushed her out of the co-host chair amid rumor-fed headlines has left wounds.

"I don't know who has been behind the leaks, but no question they've hurt deeply," she says. She admits she would have liked more time to work things out as co-host, and she bristles a bit at the suggestion that she lacked "chemistry" with co-host Matt Lauer.

Her on-air farewell was all class. Yes she cried at work, but in my book she handled it with style. It's unfortunate that after all her hard work and contributions this is the thanks she receives - the opportunity to have to make this awkward and strained announcement while the rest of the team shifts uncomfortably on the couch reminiscing with the strangeness of mourners at a wake. For the person in the most difficult position she had more ease than anyone else on the set. My hat goes off to her. You can watch her tearful farewell here:

What are your thoughts on Ann Curry's farewell? The way it was handled?

Have you had to walk in her shoes?

How have you walked through difficult career situations yourself?

Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Paula Gregorowicz is a life and business strategist who helps women that want to live their true calling by building a successful service based business without the all the self-doubt, struggle, and overwhelm.
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