A tearful Ann Curry formally bowed out of her co-anchor’s chair on NBC’s ”Today” Thursday ayem. The departure was expected after Curry confirmed her plan on Wednesday but was no less emotional on-air as Curry thanked viewers and apologized that she ”couldn’t carry the ball over the finish line,” adding ”but man I did try.”

Curry made no attempt to shade the truth of the situation that has seen her forced out as the venerable morning show hit a ratings bump that ended its decades-long streak of winning the ayem news race. She spent a year as co-anchor to Matt Lauer and another 14 years as the show’s news reader. Almost from the start, there were rumblings about the lack of chemistry between her and Lauer, especially compared to her predecessors, Meredith Vieira and Katie Couric.

”This is not as I expected to ever leave this couch after 15 years,” she said.

Curry told viewers she was not leaving NBC News or ”Today” entirely but would be receiving ”some fancy new titles” and will lead a team of reporters that will allow her to cover ”every big story we want…at a time when this country and this world needs clarity.”

Curry’s new assignment aims to play to her strengths as a hard news reporter. Still, there was no doubt from her sign-off that the move was not her choice. She even apologized at the end of her five-minute seg for turning into a ”sob sister.”

As she told viewers: ”You are why I have ventured into dangerous places and interviewed dictators and jumped off of planes and off of bridges and climbed mountains and landed in the South Pole and convinced the Dalai Lama to come live in our studio. I have loved you, and I have wanted to give you the world, and I still do.”