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Today Show host Ann Curry departure ‘isn’t personal, it’s business’

'Today Show' host Ann Curry hasn't wover viewers is expected leave long-running morning show.

"Today Show" host Ann Curry hasn't won over viewers and is expected to leave the long-running morning show.

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Updated: June 21, 2012 5:46PM

Commenting on the expected deparure of Ann Curry as “Today” co-host, a veteran NBC insider said Thursday, “This isn’t personal, it’s business,” explaining it was NBC’s own private research that supported the morning show’s honchos’ own “gut feelings about Ann: She was the weak link in ‘Today’s’ on-air talent.”

Long No. 1 in the morning show sweepstakes, recent challenges by ABC’s “Good Morning America” (who snared top ratings for several weeks this spring), “Today” executives have decided Curry needs to be replaced for several reasons.

Along with not securing the kind of audience affection enjoyed by

Meredith Vieira and Katie Couric before her, Curry’s on-camera persona “strikes too many people as being too sweet, and often gushy and touchy-feely” when doing interviews, added the source. While co-host Matt Lauer personally is very fond of Curry, several sources have indicated he has already told his NBC bosses he wants a new partner to lead the program. It’s thought his recent long-term renewal with the show included a promise from NBC brass that he’d get a new co-anchor on “Today.”

“Many people around here — most who love Ann dearly — agree that she represents the latest example of the ‘Peter Principle,’” referring to her being solid in her previous role as “Today” newsreader, but not strong enough to tackle the anchor desk responsibilities.

My primary source also said the change would now come fairly quickly as the long-whispered buzz about Curry “has become red-hot, thanks to the New York Times story,” Thursday, outlining her expected departure.

“Right now many people think [third hour anchor]

Savannah Guthrie will get the job, but I wouldn’t count out [Today newsreader] Natalie Morales, ” said the source. “Natalie has a lot of friends in high places around here.”

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