Natalie Morales leaves NBC.
The TV journalist announced her departure in an internal memo to NBC News colleagues on Friday, explaining that she was excited to pursue “a new adventure”, but did not reveal details of what is to happen to her.
Morales will continue to appear as a “Dateline” correspondent through the rest of 2021 and will be hailed with a farewell to the shelf today in the coming weeks.
“I’m struggling to find the right words and there are way too many people I have to thank for a wonderful career at NBC News,” Morales, 49, told colleagues in his memo. “I think back to my early days cutting teeth on (NBC-affiliated) WVIT in Hartford, CT, after which I took the huge and – at the time petrifying leap to MSNBC and ak – scored the golden tickets to the TODAY show and “Dateline.” “
“This first half of my life has been full of adventures, challenges, travels, far too many early wake-up calls and yes opportunities to watch the story unfold and tell inspiring and effective stories that will always be at the pinnacle of my mind,” she continued .
Speaking of that roll: I saw my family grow up with so many of your own kids, and as my oldest son gets ready to spread his wings and go to college soon, I also feel like the time has come, (before second half of my life) to spread my own wings and pursue a new adventure, ”she added.
She ended her message, “It’s very hard to say goodbye … and we all know in this industry that it’s never goodbye, but see you later. I’m eternally grateful for the support and deep friendship that will remain, No matter where our paths lead, I have so much to be grateful for and for each and every one of you who helped me get here … many good reasons.
In a post Friday night, Morales shared a photo of her and husband Joe Rhodes celebrating on the beach.
“For a fresh start !! A toast to anyone who takes on something new .. and no matter how scary … good things will come when you least expect it!” she wrote.
Morales joined TODAY in 2006 as a national correspondent and continued to report across all NBCUniversal News platforms, including “NBC Nightly News”, “Dateline” and MSNBC.
During his decade and a half on TODAY, Morales served as news anchor and co-host of TODAY’s third hour before being named the show’s West Coast Thoughts in 2016.
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In 2020, while still anchoring TODAY, Morales became an official correspondent for “Dateline.”
She previously hosted NBCU’s “Access” and co-hosted “Access Live.”
During her time at NBC, Morales contributed to many major news stories, including scandals about sexual harassment, the Las Vegas 2017 massacre, the Boston Marathon bombing of 2013, and the coverage of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s royal wedding in 2011 and the birth of the couple’s first child, Prince George, in 2013.
In October 2010, Morales live-translated Spanish and Portuguese, and reported on the Chilean mining work. Thanks in part to her efforts, NBC’s coverage of the rescue was recognized with a National Headliner Award in 2010.
Morales earned three Daytime Emmy Awards as part of the TODAY team. She also won a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for her reporting on Honduran lobster divers for “Rock Center with Brian Williams” in 2013 and three Gracie Awards for her outstanding reporting.
In 2018, Morales, who shares two sons, Josh and Luke, with Rhodes, published his first book, “Home with Natalie: Simple Recipes for a Healthy Life from My Family’s Kitchen to Yours.”
On Friday, TODAY executive producer Tom Mazzarelli sent a note to NBC News staff praising Morales for her career at NBC over the past two decades.
“She’s been offered an opportunity she’s passionate about and has decided to step down from NBC News after an incredible two-decade career here,” he wrote, adding: “So please join me in the best of her family here at TODAY. “