Ann Curry: Today Show Gang Like the Cast of Friends

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Last night Intel ran into soon-to-be Today show lead anchor Ann Curry at the Fresh Air Fun Salute to American Heroes at Chelsea Piers. We spoke with her about her big transition.

Hi, Ann, New York Magazine here.
Are you sure you don’t want to talk to Olivia? [Actress Olivia Wilde passes directly behind Curry, followed by a squad of reporters from celebrity weeklies.]

No. How are you preparing for your new position on the Today show?
Well, I think the biggest job is to keep myself from getting caught up in the fluster, the kerfuffle about it. There is a, you know, there’s a lot of intensity. You’re going to see some really thoughtful reporting done to talk about Meredith’s last day. She’s been such a gift as a friend and a co-worker.

Do you feel nervous at all about this?
Yeah, sure. Mostly, I feel comfortable, because I’ve done this so many times and because I KNOW Matt and Al, and because I’m so comfortable with them after fourteen years.

It’s like home to you.
Exactly, it is. And it’s like a, you know, people say that we’re like brothers and sisters; I think we’re more like a group of people like the TV show Friends. You know, we sort of know each other and support each other. That’s what we’re really like. But on top of that, yeah, there’s nervousness, there’s a kind of a little bit of a fear. I mean, it’s a big deal. You’re stepping into a part of the show that makes you have a bigger place in history for the broadcast. I mean, the broadcast is 60 years old, and it has held America’s hand through some of the worst moments of our history in those 60 years. On top of that there is this tremendous, like, kid-in-a-candy-store, thrilled-to-pieces excitement.

Are you going to miss reading the news?
I think it’ll help me stretch in a way that’s really comfortable for me. This new role is one that I’m well attuned for. And I think that after fourteen years of anchoring, reading the news, as you say, on the Today show, certainly there are a lot of moments when I haven’t been perfect, especially given the hours. But I have tried my best and I have cared a lot about it. I am somebody who actually spends a lot of time editing the news and fighting for stories behind the scenes, and I find that sometimes I get so caught up in that that I forget that I actually have to read the news. I love the editing process, the fighting over what we use, what words we use; I mean, it’s a real creative — not creative in the sense of making things up, but, you know, you have to sort of think deeply about, when you only have a small amount of time for stories, what words are better than other words.

Deciding what and how to tell things to the whole country, basically.
Right. So I really love that part of the process. The actual standing up and reading news, now that’s something that I have to kind of go, "Okay, come on in, let’s do this."