Ann Curry makes debut as 'Today' co-anchor

By the Associated Press | June 9, 2011 | 8:59 AM EDT

In a May 27, 2011 photo Ann Curry, the new co-host of the NBC "Today" television program, appears on the show, in New York's Rockefeller Center. Curry, who has been the top-rated morning show's news anchor since 1997, officially ascends to the top spot alongside Maatt Lauer on Thursday June 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK (AP) — After 14 years as the understudy, Ann Curry is in the big chair now at NBC's "Today" show.

She had her first day Thursday as co-anchor with Matt Lauer on television's top-rated morning show. Her predecessor, Meredith Vieira, had an on-air going-away party Wednesday.

Curry has been on the show since 1997 as the regular newsreader, and has filled in as co-host dozens of times.

She referred to that in her opening, saying, "I'm Ann Curry, in for I guess nobody this morning — me, myself and I. It's nice to be able to say that, isn't it?"

Lauer welcomed her, saying she had already been on the show so long that "it's a little bit like a member of the family moving to a new seat at the table."