The Real Reason Natalie Morales Is Leaving NBC News

Journalist Natalie Morales has announced that she is leaving NBC News after 22 years. Morales is a popular member of the "Today" team and a correspondent for "Dateline." People reported that Morales will continue working on "Dateline" through the end of 2021.

Morales gave NBC staffers the news about her departure in an October 1 email provided to People and other outlets. Morales wrote, "How do you begin to say thank you for 22 amazing years? ... Never in a million years did I imagine this when I dreamed of what I wanted to be when I grew up!" Morales continued, "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."

People reported that Morales began her career in local news in the 1990s at Hartford's NBC affiliate WVIT-TV. In 2006, Morales became a correspondent for "Today," eventually becoming the morning show's news anchor. She then became the "Today" west coast anchor in 2016, after a move to Los Angeles.

It appears that Morales is leaving on good terms with the network. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the "Today" show will give Morales a "send-off" as she embarks on her next endeavor. But if the reports are true, Morales won't be far from fans' TV screens.

Natalie Morales is reportedly joining The Talk

Multiple outlets, including the Daily Mail and Page Six, reported on Oct. 1 that Natalie Morales is leaving NBC News to join "The Talk" at CBS News. Both outlets spoke with unnamed insiders, though Morales hasn't confirmed the reports. Tom Mazzarelli, executive producer of "Today," told NBC News staffers that Morales was "offered an opportunity she's passionate about" in a memo obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.

Network news is tough, and NBC's "Today" had plenty of drama behind the scenes. Morales has been at the center of one "Today" controversy. According to the National Enquirer, Matt Lauer's wife, Annette Lauer, filed for divorce in 2006 following rumors about the "Today" host having an affair with Morales. The Enquirer reported that the two NBC News stars supposedly became cozy during their coverage of the Winter Olympics in Torina, Italy. Annette withdrew the divorce papers a month after filing, per the outlet; the Lauer-Morales rumors were never confirmed.

Wherever Morales is headed next, fans are wishing her the best.