Natalie Morales has left Access and Access Live three years after joining the NBC entertainment news programs, an individual with knowledge of the productions confirmed to Urban Hollywood 411.
Morales will remain with NBCUniversal and continue in her roles as West Coast anchor for the Today show and correspondent for Dateline.
In a goodbye memo to staff Friday, her last day with the programs, Morales called the time she spent at Access “wonderful.”
“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,” she said.
Kit Hoover will remain with Access and Access Live, along with Scott Evans, who was recently promoted to Access Live co-anchor.
Morales transferred to what was then called Access Hollywood in 2016, after serving as co-anchor of the third hour of Today. At the time, she was based in New York, but moved to Los Angeles to cover entertainment full-time.
Her exit comes a month after longtime Access executive producer Rob Silverstein was replaced by veteran TV executive Maureen FitzPatrick.
News of Morales’ departure isn’t a complete surprise after the Daily Mail reported on March 19, that she was being “edged out” to make way for a new host amid a revamp.
Both Access shows average about 2 million viewers daily –- just under half the audience of genre leader Entertainment Tonight, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Morales’ memo to Access staffers is below.
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!
As an Air Force brat who has had to say goodbye one too many times in my life.. I prefer to say see you all later … and by later I mean on the next red carpet or on the lot! I’m just a few studio gates away after all. Please stay in touch!
All my best.