06.28.12 2:30 PM ET
Ann Curry, Meredith Vieira & More: Best ‘Today’ Anchor Signoffs (VIDEO)
Ann Curry (2011-2012)
It was an emotional goodbye for Ann Curry after weeks of rampant speculation that she was leaving Today. “For all of you who saw me as a groundbreaker, I’m sorry I couldn’t carry the ball over the finish line," she said while fighting back tears. Watch her final signoff where she thanked viewers, detailed her future plans at the network and said farewell to her morning show family.
Meredith Vieira (2006-11)
With a relatively short run as anchor (although not relative to Curry), Vieira distinguished herself as perhaps the most genuine and down-to-earth co-host the show has ever had. Vieira worked with Matt Lauer for five years, waking up audiences across America with her kind and charming demeanor. Her last appearance as a Today host was on June 8, 2011, although she occasionally takes on special assignments for the show. Watch this extravagant musical number presented in honor of her last day.
Katie Couric (1991-2006)
The names Katie Couric and Today became practically synonymous in America due to her 15-year run as anchor. So much so that it was difficult for viewers to accept her as the anchor of The CBS Evening News when she left Today in May 2006. Couric and co-host Matt Lauer became the most trusted names in morning news, furthering the legacy of the show. She received wide acclaim for her consistency over the years—despite her constantly changing hairstyles. Watch her announce her departure from Today on May 4, 2006.
Bryant Gumbel (1982-97)
Bryant Gumbel is so revered as a sports journalist that some may not realize he was the anchor of the Today show for 15 years. He began his career with NBC as a co-host of the football pre-game show GrandStand. He later became the chief sports reporter for Today, and eventually replaced Tom Brokaw as co-host on Jan. 4, 1982. Watch his heartfelt and tearful goodbye from his last day.
Jane Pauley (1976-1989)
Many recognize 1989 as the collapse of the Soviet Union, but more important, it was the year Jane Pauley left Today. Co-hosting with respected anchors Tom Brokaw and Bryant Gumbel gave Pauley recognition as one of the best newscasters in the country. After leaving the show, Pauley hosted Real Life With Jane Pauley, was deputy anchor for NBC Nightly News, and co-host of Dateline NBC for 11 years. Watch her announce her resignation from Today on Oct. 27, 1989, as well as look back on her anchor years with Tom Brokaw.
Barbara Walters (1961-76)
Barbara Walters (or Baba Wawa, as Gilda Radner used to say) is perhaps the most revered female broadcast journalist in history. Her popularity began from her 10-year-plus stint as an anchor on Today. She also has hosted the ABC Evening News and, 20/20, and remains co-host and boss on the always riveting The View. She is one of the most experienced and critically acclaimed journalists and interviewers, and remains one of the most influential—at age 82. Watch her brief signoff from Today on June 4, 1976.