Natalie Morales is saying a bittersweet goodbye to Today.
On Friday, Oct. 1, the west coast correspondent for the morning news show announced that she will be leaving Today after 22 years. She wrote in an internal NBC News memo that she's resigning from her position to embark on a "new adventure."
"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," the 49-year-old newscaster continued. "I think back to my early days cutting my teeth at (NBC affiliate) WVIT in Hartford, CT then taking the huge and—at the time—petrifying leap to MSNBC and alas—scoring the golden tickets to the Today show and Dateline."
Morales said that she's grateful to say her career was full of "adventure, challenges, travel, way too many early wake up calls," and that it was an honor to "witness history unfold and to tell inspiring and impactful stories."
And while those career-making moments are big, Morales added that her admiration for the Today staff goes beyond the office walls. "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," she shared, "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."
Morales concluded her heartfelt message: "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."
Following the announcement, Dateline's Josh Mankiewicz wrote on Twitter, "We at #Dateline are going to miss her a lot. Happy for her, tho."
Morales still has some time before she has to pack up her cubicle, giving Today producers plenty of time to prepare for her final day.
While the Dateline correspondent didn't offer any details on what comes next in her career, Today executive producer Tom Mazzarelli said in a separate email to staff, "She's been offered an opportunity she's passionate about and has decided to step away from NBC News after an incredible two-decade career here."
He added, "So please join me in wishing her nothing but the best from her family here at Today."
Throughout Morales' 22-year career at NBC, she's contributed to NBC Nightly News, Dateline and MSNBC, as well as NBCUniversal's Access and Access Live.
(E! News and NBC are both members of the NBCUniversal family.)