After one year as co-anchor, declining ratings and tepid chemistry with Matt Lauer, Curry tearfully, awkwardly signs off on June 28, 2012, with a prepared speech that makes it clear that she was forced out. Avoiding a goodbye kiss from Lauer only stirred rumors that he was behind her dismissal. Lauer later denied that he wanted Curry out and admitted that TPTB did not handler her exit well. In the book, Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV, Brian Stelter wrote that Curry was teased and "humiliated" by her colleagues for months and that Today executive producer Jim Bell put in place a plan to oust her called Operation Bambi. After Curry's final show, according to Stelter, Bell and producers toasted her departure at a restaurant.
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