- - Thursday, June 28, 2012

Ann Curry offered a tearful goodbye as co-host of NBC’s “Today” show Thursday, saying “this is not as I expected to ever leave this couch.”

Her exit represents NBC’s most visible response to the popular morning show’s worst stretch in the ratings in nearly two decades. “Today” hadn’t lost a single week since 1996, but this spring it was beaten four times by ABC’s resurgent “Good Morning America.”

Ms. Curry’s exit marked a stark contrast to the lengthy tribute shows given to predecessors Meredith Vieira and Katie Couric. She announced it during the final five minutes of her shift Thursday, ending a week of awkward television as she continued working after word spread that NBC was looking to oust her.

“For all of you who saw me as a groundbreaker, I’m sorry I couldn’t carry the ball over the finish line but, man, I did try,” she said, breaking down.

Ms. Curry joined the show as a news anchor in 1997. Passed over for the co-host job when Ms. Vieira replaced Ms. Couric, she was given the chance when Ms. Vieira left last June. But her pairing with co-host Matt Lauer never seemed to click and she took the fall for the show’s ratings troubles.

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NBC’s Savannah Guthrie, who co-hosts the 9 a.m. segment of the show, is expected to replace Ms. Curry.

Ms. Curry will remain at NBC News, saying she’s been given a “fancy new title” to lead a reporting team. NBC said she will be anchor-at-large and national and international correspondent. Her work occasionally will resurface on “Today,” and Mr. Lauer said she will be in London with the show for the Olympics.

Blown transformer leaves Ferguson show in the dark

Craig Ferguson kept it light when the lights went out.

CBS said Wednesday’s edition of “The Late Late Show” was faced with lighting problems after a transformer blew, shorting out the light grid above the stage for the taping just hours before airtime.

Two temporary lights were positioned to illuminate Mr. Ferguson and his guests, former “Friends” star Lisa Kudrow and producer Harvey Weinstein, who also joked around with flashlights.

Mr. Ferguson, whose show is taped at CBS’ Television City in Hollywood, has weathered technical glitches before. In October 2009, he had a power failure and taped part of the show entirely by flashlight. He’s also been plagued periodically by a leaky roof.

But the future burns bright for “The Late Late Show”: It’s scheduled to move to a better-equipped studio by summer’s end.

People sometimes ask Mr. Ferguson why he’s making the move, he noted during his monologue.

“And I say, ‘Oh, no reason,’ ” he cracked as he gestured toward his darkened stage.

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