Ann Curry confirmed early on Thursday morning that she is leaving the "Today" show after little more than a year as co-host.

Speaking to USA Today, Curry said that she would announce to viewers on Thursday's program that her tenure has come to an end.

She said it was "going to be a bit of a tough day" when she broke the news to the audience.

"I'm going to have to tell our viewers," she said. "That's what makes me more emotional than anything. I don't want to leave them. I love them. And I will really miss them."

The paper wrote that Curry has signed a long-term deal with NBC News. She will become a roving national and international correspondent, producing specials and covering the more serious journalism which she has long said comes easiest to her.

However, the announcement brings a swift, sad finish to Curry's tenure as a co-host of the iconic morning show. It was a job she had coveted deeply, and had waited to grab a hold of even as she was passed over once before in favor of Meredith Vieira. But falling ratings and persistent rumblings that she is not the right fit for the job have led NBC to push her out of her position.

It is not yet known exactly what kind of farewell the show will give her. Savannah Guthrie, one of the co-hosts of the third hour, has reportedly already been asked to replace Curry.

In the USA Today interview, Curry struck a somewhat defiant note. She rejected the idea that she had bad chemistry with co-host Matt Lauer, and, when asked if she thought she had been given enough time to settle into her new role after fourteen years as the show's newsreader, said, "No, I do not."

She also said that she had been ready to leave NBC entirely, having been "hurt deeply" by the protracted ugliness of the past week. Since news broke last Wednesday of her impending departure, her every move has been tracked by a cloud of press attention. One report began, "Ann Curry showed up again for work." (NBC maintained a stony silence throughout.)

But Curry said that NBC News president Steve Capus convinced her to stay, offering a job that she described as rich with opportunities for hard news reporting.

It has been widely rumored that she will be making up to $10 million a year with the network. Curry said this was not true.

The brutal conclusion to Curry's hosting career highlights just how important maintaining the supremacy of "Today" is to NBC. The show makes hundreds of millions of dollars in profits every year, but that money was imperiled by the ascendancy of ABC rival "Good Morning America" in the ratings. When that show officially snapped the 16-year "Today" ratings winning streak, media watchers immediately began wondering how NBC would respond. Unfortunately for Curry, the response has cost her what she has called her "dream job."

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  • Ann Curry

    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 24: Ann Curry attends the TIME 100 Gala celebrating TIME'S 100 Most Influential People In The World at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 24, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Fernando Leon/Getty Images for TIME)

  • Savannah Guthrie

    WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 28: Savannah Guthrie attends the 98th Annual White House Correspondents' Association Dinner at the Washington Hilton on April 28, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

  • Al Roker

    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 23: Al Roker attends the 2012 Matrix Awards Luncheon at Waldorf Astoria Hotel on April 23, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)

  • Matt Lauer

    NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 12: 'TODAY' Show correspondent Matt Lauer attends the 'TODAY' Show 60th anniversary celebration at The Edison Ballroom on January 12, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

  • Brian Williams

    NEW YORK, NY - MAY 07: Television Journalist Brian Williams speaks at the Robin Hood Veterans Summit at Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum on May 7, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for The Robin Hood Foundation)

  • Meredith Vieira (with Ann Curry)

    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 23: (L-R) Ann Curry and Meredith Vieira attend the 2012 Matrix Awards Luncheon at Waldorf Astoria Hotel on April 23, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)

  • Lester Holt

    NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 09: NBC Weekend Nightly News anchor Lester Holt speaks onstage at the 49th USO Armed Forces Gala & Gold Medal Dinner to Honor Military Heroes and Volunteers at 583 Park Avenue on December 9, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for USO of Metropolitan New York)

  • Natalie Morales

    NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 12: (L-R) 'TODAY' Show correspondent Natalie Morales attends the 'TODAY' Show 60th anniversary celebration at The Edison Ballroom on January 12, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

  • Hoda Kotb

    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 30: TV personality Hoda Kotb attends The Breast Cancer Research Foundation's 'Hot Pink Party' at The Waldorf=Astoria on April 30, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

  • Kathie Lee Gifford

    NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 01: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Kathy Lee Gifford and Frank Gifford attend the New York Giants Super Bowl Pep Rally Luncheon at Michael's on February 1, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for New York Giants)

  • Tamron Hall

    WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 30: MSNBC News Anchor Tamron Hall attends the MSNBC Correspondents' after party with FIJI Water at Embassy of Italy on April 30, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for The New Yorker)

  • David Gregory

    ATLANTA, GA - MAY 07: NBC's Meet the Press Host David Gregory attends NBC News Education Nation Job One Panel Discussion at Georgia Aquarium on May 7, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Moses Robinson/Getty Images for NBCUniversal)

  • Tom Brokaw

    NEW YORK, NY - MAY 07: Television Journalist Tom Brokaw speaks at the Robin Hood Veterans Summit at Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum on May 7, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for The Robin Hood Foundation)

  • Luke Russert

    NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 12: News correspondent Luke Russert attends the 'TODAY' Show 60th anniversary celebration at The Edison Ballroom on January 12, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

  • Andrea Mitchell

    WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 30: Andrea Mitchell attends the MSNBC Correspondents' after party with FIJI Water at Embassy of Italy on April 30, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for The New Yorker)

  • Richard Engel

    WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 4: (AFP OUT) In this television screen grab taken and provided by NBC, NBC News' Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel speaks via satellite from to Sderot, Israel to host David Gregory during a live taping of 'Meet the Press' at the NBC studios on January 4, 2009 in Washington, DC. Engel discussed the current Israel Gaza Conflict which is now in its ninth day. (Photo by NBC/Meet the Press via Getty Images)

  • Peter Alexander

    NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 05: Journalist Peter Alexander attends 'A Funny Affair for Autism' at The Plaza Hotel on December 5, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Hider/Getty Images for Autism Speaks)

  • Chuck Todd

    WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 09: Chuck Todd, NBC News Chief White House Correspondent and Political Director Contributing Editor to Meet the Press, attends 'A Night At The Park' to benefit the ziMS Foundation hosted by Ryan Zimmerman at Nationals Park on August 9, 2010 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for ziMS Foundation)

  • Kate Snow

    NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 09: Kate Snow attends 2011 Stand Up for Heroes at the Beacon Theatre on November 9, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Donna Ward/Getty Images)

  • Harry Smith

    NEW YORK - MARCH 02: Co-anchor for the CBS News morning show Harry Smith on-set at the 45th Annual Academy Of Country Music Awards Nominations at CBS Early Show Studio Plaza on March 2, 2010 in New York, New York. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for ACM)

  • Martin Bashir

    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 10: Correspondent Martin Bashir attends the 'Veep' screening at the Time Warner Screening Room on April 10, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

  • Bob Costas

    PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 02: NBC Sportscaster Bob Costas looks on during the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Park on January 2, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

  • Jenna Wolfe

    NEW YORK - AUGUST 17: Media correspondent Jenna Wolfe attends the New York premiere of 'Nanny McPhee Returns' at AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13 on August 17, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

  • Willard Scott

    NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 12: Former 'TODAY' Show correspondent Willard Scott attends the 'TODAY' Show 60th anniversary celebration at The Edison Ballroom on January 12, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

  • Mark Hoffman, Duncan Niederauer, Carl Quintanilla, Melissa Lee, Maria Bartiromo

  • Bob Dotson

  • Star Jones

    NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 28: TV personality Star Jones attends the American Heart Association's 2012 New York City Go Red for Women luncheon at the Hilton New York on February 28, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

  • Donny Deutsch

    NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 09: Television personality Donny Deutsch attends Love Heals, The Alison Gertz Foundation For AIDS Education 20th Anniversary gala at the Four Seasons Restaurant on November 9, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)