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Top NBC Journalist Morales Leaves The Network, Rumors She Is Joining ‘The Talk’

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


After more than two decades on NBC one of its biggest stars is leaving the network, and where she is headed is still unknown.

Natalie Morales said she is leaving the network after 22 years with NBC, noting she was excited to be pursuing “a new adventure,” NBC reported.

“I struggle to find the right words and there are way too many people I need to thank for a wonderful career at NBC News,” the journalist said. “I think back to my early days cutting my teeth at (NBC affiliate) WVIT in Hartford, CT then taking the huge and — at the time — petrifying leap to MSNBC and alas — scoring the golden tickets to the TODAY show and ‘Dateline.'”

“This first half of my life has been one full of adventure, challenges, travel, way too many early wake up calls, and yes opportunities to witness history unfold and to tell inspiring and impactful stories that will always be in my mind’s highlight reel,” she said.

“Speaking of that reel: I watched my family grow up along with so many of your own children, and as my oldest son gets ready to spread his wings and head to college soon, so too do I feel the time is right, (before the second half of my life) to spread my own wings and to pursue a new adventure,” the journalist said.

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“It’s very hard to say goodbye… and we all know in this business it’s never goodbye but see you later. I’m eternally grateful for the support and deep friendships that will remain no matter where our paths lead. I have so much to be thankful for and for every one of you who helped me get here… muchísimas gracias mis amigos,” she said.

Morales joined TODAY in 2006 as a national correspondent, and went on to report across all of NBCUniversal News’ platforms, including “NBC Nightly News,” “Dateline” and MSNBC.

During her decade and a half at TODAY, Morales served as news anchor and co-host of TODAY’s third-hour before being named the show’s West Coast anchor in 2016.

In 2020, while still anchoring TODAY, Morales became an official correspondent for “Dateline NBC.”

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She previously served as host of NBCU’s “Access” and co-host of “Access Live.”

During her time at NBC, Morales contributed to many major breaking news stories, including the sexual harassment scandals, the 2017 Las Vegas massacre, the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing, as well as coverage of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s royal wedding in 2011 and the birth of the couple’s first child, Prince George, in 2013.

Morales will stay with the network as a correspondent for “Dateline.”

“She’s been offered an opportunity she’s passionate about and has decided to step away from NBC News after an incredible two-decade career here,” TODAY executive producer Tom Mazzarelli said in a note to staffers. “So please join me in wishing her nothing but the best from her family here at TODAY.”

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Rumors have been circulating that Morales will be joining the CBS daytime show “The Talk,” Variety reported.

Morales is seen joining “Talk” panelists Sheryl Underwood, Amanda Kloots, Jerry O’Connell and Akbar Gbaja-Biamila. The program has been in the midst of a recalibration since the controversial departure of co-host Sharon Osbourne, who left after the panel got into a discussion about racial and cultural views and went on hiatus in its aftermath. Morales is expected to contribute to “Dateline” through the rest of the year, and enjoy an on-air farewell on “Today” in weeks to come.

Several news and talk rivals have made runs on NBC News in recent weeks. WarnerMedia’s CNN lured away Kasie Hunt, an up-and-coming Capitol Hill correspondent and Jenn Suozzo, the former executive producer of “NBC Nightly News,” both for prominent roles at CNN Plus, a new streaming-video outlet set to launch in early 2022.

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