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Natalie Morales is leaving Access Hollywood and Access Live behind after spending three years as co-host on each entertainment news show, but that doesn't mean we won't see her on NBC again. Morales will continue on with NBC News, meaning that we'll continue to see her as the West Coast anchor for Today and as a correspondent on Dateline. Here's part of the message Morales sent to her Access co-workers in a memo on Friday, as she announced her departure:
To my dear Access family:
And I do mean family! I have had a wonderful 3 years here with you and will treasure the memories and good times! Thank you for welcoming me with open arms and for always bringing your A-game. I have so much to be grateful for and can’t name all of you… but I do have to especially thank Kit, Scott, Sibley and Liliana for making it always a fun day “at work.” And thanks to our incredible producers, crew, assistants, wardrobe, hair and makeup teams.. I mean truly, I have a long list and hope to thank you each personally. Keep being the little engine that could!
Natalie Morales made sure to thank as many of the people as possible who helped make her time as Access Hollywood and Access Live a pleasant experience. This includes Kit Hoover and Scott Evans; Hoover will continue as Access host, while Evans will now act as Access Live co-host opposite her. Morales wrapped up her note (via Variety) by letting everyone know this wouldn't be the last they saw of her, because she'll just be a few gates away on the same studio lot.
Morales has been in the NBC family for quite some time. She was an anchor and correspondent for MSNBC from 2002 to 2006, then joined Today as a national correspondent that same year, being named co-anchor of the third hour of the morning show in March 2008. In June 2011, she replaced Ann Curry as news anchor for Today when Curry took over as host from the departing Meredith Vieira. Then, in 2016, Morales took the move west to join Access and become the West Coast anchor of Today.
At the time, NBC was looking to move then Access anchor Billy Bush over to Today, which they did, but with some less than favorable results. In early October 2016, an old recording featuring Bush, who had just joined the show that August, surfaced which featured Bush and Donald Trump both saying unsavory things about women's bodies and overall looks during taping for a segment on Access Hollywood. After a suspension, Bush was fired from Today within a few days of the tape coming out. Luckily for Natalie Morales, though, none of that controversy affected her.
You can keep your eye on Natalie Morales every morning when she acts as West Coast anchor for Today.