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The Jane Pauley-Deborah Norville switch
Before Curry's messy departure, there was the equally controversial Jane Pauley-Deborah Norville transition. As Today's ratings were declining in 1989, rumors swirled that NBC would replace co-anchor Pauley with the younger, attractive newsreader Norville. In October, Pauley announced that she was leaving after 13 years and Norville would replace her. Viewers fled and the negative press was relentless, with many branding Norville as "the other woman" and noting the lack of chemistry between her and Bryant Gumbel. By the end of 1990, NBC began to slowly phase Norville out of broadcasts. Ratings rose after Katie Couric subbed in for Norville when she went on maternity leave in February 1991. Two months later, NBC announced that Norville would not return and named Couric co-anchor.