Natalie Morales is going to have to change her Instagram handle soon (@nmoralesnbc) because the NBC Dateline correspondent and Today show west coast anchor is leaving the network after 22 years. The television journalist announced the news on Friday in an internal memo to her colleagues explaining that she was excited to pursue “a new adventure.” Tom Mazzarelli, the executive producer of the Today show said in a note, Morales has “been offered an opportunity she’s passionate about.” According to the LA Times, two people familiar with her plans said she will be joining “The Talk.”
According to LA Times, Morales will be joining a shifting co-host lineup at “The Talk.” Sharon Osbourne left the show earlier this year and Cari Ann Inab announced her departure in August.
Fans will have some time to say goodbye because Morales will appear on Dateline through the end of the year. She will have an on-air farewell tribute on Today sometime in the next few weeks. “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,” Morales told her colleagues in the memo, per NBC.
She went on to reflect on her life thus far, “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.”
Some of the major breaking news stories she covered during her time were the 2020 Chilean miner rescue where she live translated and reported the rescue. The 2017 Las Vegas Massacre, and the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. She also won three Gracie Awards and the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for her reporting on Honduran lobster divers for “Rock Center with Brian Williams” in 2013.
The 49-year-old mother shares two sons with husband Joe Rhodes and as she continued her memo she wrote, “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.”
After 22 years, and three Daytime Emmy Awards as part of the TODAY team, Morales told her friends it wasn’t a goodbye, but a “see you later.” “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 concluded her message.