Meredith Vieira Has a Tearful Goodbye on ‘Today’ (VIDEO)

By: / June 8, 2011

This morning was Meredith Vieira’s final day on NBC’s TODAY — as her five year tenure as co-host alongside Matt Lauer came to an end. TODAY paid tribute to Vieira throughout the show, starting with a montage of her best moments.

Plus, there were plenty of surprises, which included a special performance by songwriting legend Carole King who sang “You’ve Got a Friend.” Although she tried to hold back tears, Meredith was seen crying as she held hands with the TODAY family.

Vieira gave a heartfelt goodbye, as she spoke about her decision to leave.”It’s tough. It’s a hard one. Very mixed emotions. I’m looking at everybody right here and wishing I … no, I know it’s right, but it’s hard,” she said.

Meanwhile, Lauer gushed about Vieira, saying:

“It’s been a privilege working with you over these past five years and I know the folks at home have enjoyed starting their day with you. It has been a great ride.”

Although she bids farewell to TODAY, she won’t be saying goodbye to NBC News. The network said her new role within the organization will be announced in the coming months.