BY RON RENGEL
Jack Curry’s career began after he received his Masters of Journalism at Syracuse University and set sail at the Royal Viking Line traveling around the world. He docked in New York for some time to write about urology.
“I did not want to stay in Syracuse, and after an internship I was offered a job located in Syracuse, and it was in business writing. That is not what I wanted to do at that time. There is nothing wrong with the job. It is a great aspect in journalism, but I did not want to do it at that time,” he said.
“Out of the blue on this bulletin board there was this job opportunity,” Curry said. “I also went abroad during my sophomore year… So I had international working experience, and that’s what got me this job on the ship.”
He worked at a startup that eventually failed. He freelanced to build his writing portfolio. He penned articles for Cosmopolitan, the New York Daily News and Playbill, but USA Today relocated him from New York to Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles.
“One thing that I want young people to be willing to do is be flexible in terms of their job, their beat, and their location,” Curry said. “Young people have to be willing to go where the jobs are. When I went to USA Today, it was like going to a startup because it was brand new.”
Within a year at USA Today, Curry became a TV critic, then a movie critic. Within three years, he became the deputy managing editor of entertainment coverage.
Curry’s career progressed, and at TV Guide, he landed a position of executive managing editor. A decade later, USA Weekend offered the desk of executive editor and vice president. Ten years later, he left.
“The truth of the matter is I was tired of that environment, and they have packages for people who are older. I was fifty-eight when I left. I was able to get my entire retirement, and I looked at my resume and I knew that I was talented and that my resume was on point. But I could not find another journalism job,” he said.
A bachelor’s in English led to Curry pursuing a teaching certificate and a start as an English as a Second Language teacher at Northern Virginia Community College. But years working at the newspaper and periodical industry coupled with a master’s in journalism led to him teaching at Mason.
“I then began teaching journalism in George Mason University, and I loved it. I love the faculty. They are very committed to the communication department, and I love the students that I teach,” he said.