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Longtime 'Today' Host Offers a Blunt Appraisal of Ann Curry's Performance LA Times

A longtime host of NBC’s "Today" show tells the Los Angeles Times' Show Tracker that he feels ousted co-host Ann Curry has received overly favorable treatment.

“I’m surprised and disappointed at this idea that Ann was a martyr, that she was thrown under the bus,” Bryant Gumbel said. "I don’t know why she’s being portrayed as a modern-day Joan of Arc. In every job, in every walk of life, people are hired to do a job, and if they don't do it well they are relieved of that job.”

Gumbel, who hosted “Today” for 15 years, added, "It’s a big-boy business, and when things don’t work out, people are asked to leave. It’s happened to me; it’s happened to almost everyone in this business."

Gumbel, who said he's "best friends" with "Today" co-host Matt Lauer, said his comments were prompted by his concern for "Today" staffers, as he felt they have been taking on blame that belonged to Curry, according to the story.

Gumbel said he doesn't watch "Today," describing himself as "not a TV watcher and I’m not a morning-show watcher." He added that while he has met new "Today" co-host Savannah Guthrie, he doesn't know her well. "Matt tells me she’s a good person, and I believe him,” Gumbel added.