Natalie Morales leaves NBC News after 22 years


Natalie Morales is leaving NBC.

The TV reporter announced her departure on Friday in an internal memo to colleagues at NBC News, explaining that she was excited to pursue “a new adventure,” but did not disclose details of what lies ahead.

Morales will continue to appear as a correspondent for “Dateline” until the end of 2021 and will be greeted with a farewell tribute live on TODAY in the coming weeks.

“I have a hard time finding the right words and there are too many people I have to thank for a wonderful career at NBC News,” Morales, 49, told colleagues in his note. “I think back to my early days cutting my teeth at (NBC affiliate) WVIT in Hartford, CT, then taking the huge leap and – at the time – petrifying to MSNBC and alas – winning the gold tickets for the TODAY show and ‘Dateline’. ‘”

Image: Today – Season 68 (Nathan Congleton / TODAY)

“This first half of my life has been full of adventures, challenges, journeys, far too many morning awakenings, and yes opportunities to witness the story and tell inspiring and hard-hitting stories that will always stay with you. in my mind, “she continued.

“Speaking of this coil: I’ve watched my family grow up with so many of your own children, and as my oldest son prepares to spread his wings and head to college soon, I also think the time is right. come (before the second half of my life) to spread my own wings and pursue a new adventure, ”she added.

She concluded her message: “It’s very difficult to say goodbye… and we all know that in this business it’s never a goodbye but see you later. I am eternally grateful for the support and the deep friendships that will remain no matter where our paths lead. I have so much to be grateful for for and for each of you who have helped me get here… muchísimas gracias mis amigos. “

In a post on Friday night, Morales shared a photo of herself and her husband Joe Rhodes celebrating at the beach.

“To new beginnings !! A toast to all who are embarking on something new… and no matter how scary they are… good things will happen when you least expect them!” she wrote.

Morales joined TODAY in 2006 as a national correspondent, and has continued to report on all NBCUniversal News platforms, including “NBC Nightly News”, “Dateline” and MSNBC.

During her decade and a half at TODAY, Morales served as TODAY’s third hour news anchor and co-host before being named the show’s presenter on the West Coast in 2016.

Related: I’m half Brazilian and half Puerto Rican. But all my life I’ve been told I’m not Latin enough – or white enough.

In 2020, while anchoring TODAY, Morales became an official correspondent for “Dateline”.

Previously, she was NBCU’s “Access” host and “Access Live” co-host.

While at NBC, Morales contributed to numerous major reporting including the sexual harassment scandals, the Las Vegas massacre in 2017, the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, as well as the coverage of the royal wedding. of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2011 and the birth of the couple’s first child, Prince George, in 2013.

Natalie Morales' stepfather passes away (Peter Kramer / NBCU Photo Bank / NBCUniversal via)

Natalie Morales’ stepfather dies (Peter Kramer / NBCU Photo Bank / NBCUniversal via)

In October 2010, Morales, who speaks Spanish and Portuguese, translated live and reported on the rescue of a Chilean miner. Thanks in part to his efforts, NBC’s coverage of the rescue was recognized with a 2010 National Headliner Award.

Morales won three Daytime Emmy Awards as part of Team TODAY. 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, “At Home with Natalie: Simple Recipes for Healthy Living from My Family’s Kitchen to Yours”.

TODAY executive producer Tom Mazzarelli sent a note to NBC News staff on Friday praising Morales for his career at NBC for the past two decades.

“She was given an opportunity that she is passionate about and decided to retire from NBC News after an incredible two-decade career here,” he wrote, adding, “So please join you to me for wishing him all the best in his family here in TODAY. “

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