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NBC: Vieira leaving 'Today' show

By the CNN Wire Staff
Meredith Vieira announced Monday that she will be leaving the "Today" show in June.
Meredith Vieira announced Monday that she will be leaving the "Today" show in June.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Co-host Meredith Vieira says she decided to leave to spend more time with family
  • NEW: "We will miss you like crazy," co-host Matt Lauer says
  • The network says Meredith Vieira will have "a new role at NBC News"
  • Ann Curry will take her place as the morning show's co-host

New York (CNN) -- "Today" co-host Meredith Vieira will be leaving the show in June, NBC announced Monday.

Vieira said her decision to leave came "after months of personal reflection and private conversations with my family and my friends." She choked back tears as she told viewers on the morning program.

"This is a difficult day for me. I'm going to try to hold myself together here," she said.

"Even as I say this, and I know that it is the right thing, I'm really sad, because for the past -- I like to say 10 years, but it's only five -- this has been my second home," she added.

Vieira has been the co-anchor on "Today" for nearly five years.

In a statement posted on the show's website, the network said Ann Curry will take Vieira's place as co-anchor.

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"Meredith will continue in a new role at NBC News, with an official announcement in the coming months," NBC's statement said.

But Vieira seemed less certain about her plans on Monday morning's show.

"I really hope to stay in the NBC family. That is my goal. It just won't be sitting at the couch every day," she said.

Neither Vieira nor co-host Matt Lauer offered much behind-the-scenes insight about the staffing change.

"There are a lot of things I would like to say about Meredith and her decision, but I think, suffice it to say that we, I think, all feel blessed," Lauer said.

"She has brought class and dignity and talent and a joy of life to this show over these last five years, and we will miss you like crazy," he added.

A former co-host on "The View," Vieira came to "Today" following the exit of Katie Couric, who departed the show after 15 years to begin anchoring the "CBS Evening News."

Curry said she was excited to step into the co-anchor's chair but was sad Vieira was leaving.

"If I could choose, you would not go," she said.

But Curry told Lauer she was looking forward to working with him.

"I feel like the high school computer nerd who was just asked to the prom by the quarterback of the football team," she said.

CNN's Lisa Respers France contributed to this report.

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