USA TODAY Bureau Chief Lands Curry Exit Interview

USA TODAY‘s Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page landed a highly sought after interview with NBC “The Today Show” host Ann Curry. She and Curry had a 40-minute phone interview Tuesday, in which Curry was described as “fighting back tears.”

Curry, who has been with the show for 14 years, has a new contract with NBC that will have her covering big world stories, specials and pieces for NBC Nightly News. She admitted to Page that the way she departed “The Today Show” has “hurt deeply.” But well into the piece she recalls wisdom from her father: “My father used to say, ‘Well, Ann, maybe the best thing you’ll ever do, you haven’t even thought of yet.’ And as I think about this, maybe that time is now.”

Not typically on the media beat, we asked how Page landed Curry. Page replied, “Better to ask Ann Curry why she chose USA TODAY for this interview.” She continued, “My experience with people in the news, in politics and elsewhere, is that they are drawn to USA TODAY’s national reach and our reputation for fairness.”

Page then pointed to Washington’s go-to power lawyer for media Bob Barnett as the ultimate possible reason why she got the interview. “I have done some interviews with political authors represented by Bob Barnett, most recently this month with Sen. Marco Rubio on his memoirs, and I believe Bob suggested my name,” she said.

Asked if her desire to interview Curry had anything to do with a sense of female journalistic solidarity, she replied,  “I have so much admiration for Ann Curry not only as a groundbreaker for women but also as a serious journalist. She’s gone after stories in a variety of dangerous and difficult places that don’t get much attention but certainly deserve it. It’s why we went into the business, right?”