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Ann Curry to leave NBC News

Then the co-hosts of NBC's "Today," Matt Lauer

Then the co-hosts of NBC's "Today," Matt Lauer and Ann Curry appear during a segment of the show in New York on July 22, 2011. Credit: AP

Ann Curry, the longtime "Today" news anchor who was briefly co-host until a rancorous departure from the program in June 2012, will leave NBC, the network just announced.

Curry will begin a production entity, specifically a "reporting and content venture seeded by NBCUniversal," according to a statement. 

"I am sincerely grateful to NBC News for allowing me to offer viewers a vast and diverse body of work, including a depth of humanitarian reporting I understand still resonates," Curry said in a statement. "It has been a privilege to work with so many good and talented people at the network and I look forward to what we will do ahead. At the same time, I can't wait to expand my reach and work with people I admire in other places," Curry said.

Curry's departure -- first reported on the Page Six website Tuesday afternoon -- has been expected for months. Despite a role as globe-trotting correspondent with considerable latitude in the stories she covered as well as topics of her choice, her relationship with NBC remained frayed after the bitter break at "Today," which precipitated a public backlash against the show and longtime co-host Matt Lauer.

The show subsequently fell into second place behind "Good Morning America," where it remains. In fact, "Today's" ratings had begun to decline even before Curry became co-anchor in 2011, but a public perception took hold that her messy firing had led to "Today's" fall.

The program's ratings have stabilized over the past year.

Curry was a core member of the "Today" family for nearly 15 years -- but later in her tenure there, she also began to establish a reputation as a foreign correspondent covering some of the most dangerous places in the world, notably the civil war in Sudan and the humanitarian crisis there. In its statement, NBC cited "Syria, Darfur, Congo, the Central African Republic, Serbia, Lebanon, Israel, Afghanistan and Iraq" as places where she had reported from, as well as North Korea and Iran, in her recent role as national/international correspondent and anchor-at-large for "Today."

Curry, 58, has been tied to NBC -- either in the news or station divisions -- for 37 years.  

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