Tearful Vieira says quitting "Today" for family

Mon May 9, 2011 2:59pm EDT
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By Aman Ali

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A tearful Meredith Vieira said on Monday she will leave her job as co-host of NBC's "Today" show next month to spend more time with her children and her sick husband.

"I can't be here every day," she told viewers on Monday, while fighting back tears. "I really hope to stay with the NBC family. That is my goal."

Vieira's last broadcast will be June 8. She will be replaced by "Today" news anchor Ann Curry.

Vieira's husband Richard Cohen suffers from multiple sclerosis and is battling colon cancer.

Vieira told a news conference later on Monday that she wanted to set the record straight about her husband's health, saying speculative reports have taken a toll on the couple.

"My husband Richard is in good health and that's part of the reason I want to leave," she said. "I want to be there with him and I want to have fun and appreciate our time together, and not have to punch in on a clock so much."

She said her also exit coincides with her daughter graduating from high school and son from college, giving her time to take a vacation with her family.

Vieira, 57, joined "Today" in 2006 after co-hosting female chat show "The View" on rival ABC for 9 years. NBC News president Steve Capus said on Monday the network was still figuring out what future role she would play with the network.   Continued...

<p>Meredith Vieira (L) and co-host Matt Lauer are seen here on a monitor during the opening of the show on her first day on NBC's "Today" in New York September 13, 2006. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid</p>