Natalie Morales has proven herself a versatile anchor who logged time at “Today,” “Access Hollywood” and “Dateline” and still managed to find time to do daredevil stunts with colleague Jenna Bush Hager. Now she’s heading out on a new adventure — one that won’t include NBC News.
Morales told staffers Friday at the NBCUniversal-backed news division that she plans to leave “to spread my own wings and to pursue a new adventure.” She has been with NBC News for 22 years. NBC News declined to offer details about where the anchor might head next.
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.
She joined NBCUniversal as an anchor on MSNBC, where she worked between 2002 and 2006 before being named a national correspondent for “Today.” Morales replaced Ann Curry as news reader for the morning program in 2011, was with the show as it jockeyed in an intense morning-news war with ABC rival “Good Morning America,” then moved to California to work at “Access” and handle west coast assignments for “Today” after producers decided to stop using a news reader on the morning show. She joined “Dateline” in 2020.
But she has retained her ties to “Today,” filling in on occasion during the show’s fourth hour and has long been considered part of the program’s extended family. “These are people who you become intimately connected with,” she told Variety in an interview in 2014.
“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 told staffers in her memo.