Natalie Morales Bids Final Farewell to Today With Moving Message

After over 20 years at NBC, Today correspondent Natalie Morales said goodbye to the network she will "forever call home" on Nov. 19. Morales joined CBS' The Talk last month.

By Samantha Bergeson Nov 19, 2021 4:28 PMTags
Watch: Natalie Morales Joins "The Talk" After "Today" Show Departure

Natalie Morales is saying goodbye.

After more than two decades at NBC, the longtime Today West Coast correspondent marked her last day at the network on Friday, Nov. 19. Before signing off, Morales looked back at her time with the new organization in a letter read to Today viewers.

"From the minute I stepped in front of the camera and into your living rooms, I knew it was an honor to be part of your morning tradition, the most sacred time," Morales said"With you, I've had a front-row seat to moments that captured our hearts, moments I will forever cherish as I witnessed history." 

Morales previously announced on Oct. 15 that she was leaving the network after 22 years for a "new adventure." She was a Today correspondent for 15 years. 

Morales recalled traveling across the country with some of America's leaders and covering the "most incredible stories," including the rescue of 33 Chilean miners who had been trapped underground for 69 days in 2010. She also remembered reporting on both Prince William and Kate Middleton's and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal weddings in 2011 and 2018, respectively and "the first royal birth in decades" with the arrival of Prince George in 2013.

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In addition, she reflected on finding "hope and inspiration" even in the stories that "broke our heart." Morales cited the journeys of Boston bombing survivors Celeste Corcoran and her daughter Sydney, who a year after the attack, helped her sister Carmen Acabo "finally cross the finish line never reached in Boston."

"I, too, was inspired to run and raised thousands for their cause thanks to your support," Morales added. "So many extraordinary people touched our lives, trusting us with their awe-inspiring journeys."

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She also looked back on following the class of 2020 from kindergarten to their high school graduation, noting, "We raised an entire group of kids."

"Never one to shy away from a chance to try something new, I've had so many amazing adventures. We've had a lot of laughs. Many at my expense, I'm sure you would agree. And have shared moments that matter most, as both my children were born," Morales, who shares two children with husband Joe Rhodes, continued, "I felt your well wishes, and you have felt my joy seeing them grow up."

Near the end of the message, Morales told viewers "you and my Today family have given me a place I will forever call home" and thanked them for "all those morning and the lifetime of memories we now share."

Morales previously announced on Oct. 15 that she was leaving the network after 22 years for a "new adventure."

Following Morales' farewell segment, Today co-host Savannah Guthrie gushed over working with Morales who is "such a treasure" over the years. "I just love seeing you and all your adventures. I just think what a great friend you are to all of us," Guthrie said through tears. "You were a friend to me when I needed it most. I just adore you, you know that." 

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Hoda Kotb said, "That highlight reel really showed the work you did but that was nothing compared to what you did in this room." 

Al Roker added, "For 22 years, no matter what you have done Natalie, you were still the same person. You are beautiful, warm, you have always been a good friend to everyone who's been here. You treat everyone equally. I adore you."

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Today executive producer Tom Mazzarelli additionally sent a note to NBC News staffers to honor Morales for her time at NBC. 

"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," Mazzarelli penned. "So please join me in wishing her nothing but the best from her family here at Today."

Morales joined CBS' The Talk alongside Akbar Gbaja-BiamilaAmanda KlootsJerry O'Connell and Sheryl Underwood on Oct. 11. "It's an extraordinary opportunity to be joining this team at The Talk," Morales said in a press statement. "I love the new energy and direction and couldn't be more excited to join Sheryl, Amanda, Jerry and Akbar. I'm looking forward to many good times while talking about the days' topics, and I can't wait to get going."

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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