By PDX People
PORTLAND, Ore. – If you’re a fan of TV news then names like Tom Brokaw, Walter Cronkite, Kate Couric and Ann Curry, one of the most well-known People from Portland Oregon, will be well-known to you because these TV news anchors have been our go-to source for TC news for decades.
Born in 1956, Ann would travel the world with her parents because her father was in the navy until they eventually settled in the Portland Oregon area where she would go to school and eventually attend the University of Oregon, graduating with her B.A. in journalism in 1978.
First Female News Reporter at KTVL In Medford
After graduating from the University of Oregon in 1978, Ann Curry started her television broadcasting career with KTV Medford Oregon. After working as an intern, she would eventually become the television stations first TV news reporter before moving on to KGW in Portland where she worked as an anchor and reporter from 1980 to 1984.
Following her time in Portland, Oregon Ann moved her career down to Los Angeles and worked as a reporter with KCBS-TV until the early 1990’s when she was invited to work as an NBC news correspondent for one of their Chicago affiliates and this position eventually opened the door for her to host the Today Show.
A Leader in Network Television News
In 1990, Curry joined NBC News, first as the NBC News Chicago correspondent then as the anchor of NBC News at Sunrise from 1991 to 1996. Curry also served as a substitute news anchor for Matt Lauer from 1994 to 1997 at Today. From 1997 to 2011, she served as news anchor at Today, becoming the show’s second-longest serving news anchor, behind Frank Blair, who served in that capacity from 1953 to 1975. During this time, she also served as a substitute anchor for Today. In May 2005, Curry was named co-anchor of Dateline NBC with Stone Phillips; she remained as the primary anchor when Phillips left in June 2007, until she replaced Meredith Vieira on Today in 2011. She was the primary substitute on NBC Nightly News from 2005 to 2011.
Curry has reported on major international stories, filing stories from places such as Baghdad, Sri Lanka, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Albania, and Darfur. Curry hosted NBC’s primetime coverage and highlights of the Live Earth concerts on July 7, 2007, and also contributed with interviews for the special with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Vice President Al Gore. Curry reported from the USS Theodore Roosevelt during the invasion of Afghanistan in November 2001 and had an exclusive interview with General Tommy Franks. She reported from Baghdad in early 2003, and then from the USS Constellation as the war in Iraq began. Ann was also the first network news anchor to report from inside the Southeast Asian tsunami zone in late 2004.
On December 17, 2007, Curry bungee jumped off the Transporter Bridge in Middlesbrough, England to raise money for charity. Her jump was shown live on the Today show at approximately 8:13 am.
In 2009, Curry traveled to Iran where she interviewed then-President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad days before Ahmadinejad traveled to America to speak in front of the United Nations General Assembly.
In 2011, Curry appeared in the first PBS Kids Sprout “Kindness Counts” PSA.
Throughout her career, Curry has landed several exclusive interviews, including with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and Chadian President Idrsiss Deby. She also conducted the first exclusive interview with General Tommy Franks, prior to the outbreak of the war in Iraq. Curry’s other notable interviewees include Liberia’s Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, the first female to be elected president of an African nation; Thomas Hamill, the Halliburton truck driver who escaped captivity in Iraq; and accused spy Wen Ho Lee, who was cleared of all charges of espionage against the United States.
Today Show Departure
Ann Curry’s claim to fame was anchoring the Today Show but like all great TV anchors over the last 50 years, her time on the show came to an end in 2011 when she was replaced with another anchor.
Now at the age of 60, many people would consider her to still be in the prime of her career especially since other TV news anchors and personalities like Barbara Walters and Larry King have stayed active in their careers well into their 80’s.
What is she doing now that she’s not on the Today Show anymore? In a recent interview with Variety, she sat down to discuss her views on the current state of television news and what she’s doing now.
Journalism is “heading towards a potential renaissance,” Curry said. But she warned against the conflation of news and opinion.
“It’s easy to talk about what you think about something, but it’s actually not what your job is,” Curry said. “Your job is to not tell people what to think. Your job is to tell people what they need to know so they can make their own decisions. And I think that as we are moving closer as we’re recognizing this, we are seeing examples of people reacting and doing amazing work. So I’m hopeful.”
Curry also contrasted her current work as an independent journalist with her time at NBC.
“I’m working on things that are meaningful more consistently,” she said. “I can do stories that matter more consistently. My projects are national, international. I’m working on things that I think the world needs. And to be honest with you, I hope I don’t sound too self-important in saying that. But I’m trying, put it that way, to do stories that I think are needed now. And that’s actually been lovely. It’s been lovely to be inspired and to be able to direct my energies into things that matter.”