Ann Curry put on a brave face to host Thursday morning's episode of the "Today Show," as rumors swirled that the veteran TV personality was being ousted from NBC over floundering ratings.
The "Today Show," long the number one morning talk show in America, was surpassed in ratings by rival "Good Morning America" in April, which led to speculation that Curry — who has hosted the show for 14 years — would be asked to leave NBC, Forbes reported.
"It's hard not to take it personally," Curry said in an interview with Ladies Home Journal. "You worry, Am I not good enough? Am I not what people need? Am I asking the right questions? When people say negative things or speculate, you can't help but feel hurt. I know NBC pays my salary but I have never doubted who I work for. I think about the people who watch. They're the ones who matter to me. I want to feel I haven't dropped the ball when it comes to them."
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The rumors about Curry's exit reignited on Wednesday, and the 'Today Show' producers had lined up Hoda Kotb, the co-host of the fourth hour of “Today” to fill in for Curry on Thursday, the New York Times reported.
However, Curry did appear on Thursday morning with co-host Matt Lauer, neither of whom discussed the speculations, according to the Times, but "they didn’t go out of their way to refute them, either."
"Their smiles were muted and their chitchat was kept to a minimum," the New York Times reported of Curry and Lauer.
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Neither NBC nor Curry's attorney Robert Barnett have commented so far on the rumors of the journalist's exit, New York Daily News reported.
“Curry is well liked by NBC,” Barbara Apple Sullivan, founder of brand engagement firm Sullivan, who specializes in brand reinventions, told Forbes. “It’s clear that this is based solely on the results, much like a CEO who gets replaced because targets aren’t met. She should be gracious and move on. Less is definitely more.”