Vargas leaving ABC News after 22 years with network
  • Saturday, February 16, 2019
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Vargas leaving ABC News after 22 years with network


    Elizabeth Vargas poses for photos at ABC’s Network Upfront Presentation in New York in 2016.


Elizabeth Vargas will be giving her final signoff from ABC News after 22 years on the network.

The longtime news anchor, who revealed her battle with alcoholism on the newsmagazine program last year, announced today that she would step down from “20/20” in May as the show wraps up its 40th season to “pursue new ventures,” ABC News confirmed to the Daily News.

“I want you to hear some news about me, from me. I will be leaving ABC News, and 20/20 at the end of this historic 40th season. It has been a profound privilege to be the anchor of 20/20 for 14 years, and a true honor to work with each and every one of you,” she wrote in a letter to staff today.

The 55-year-old got her start on the network in 1996 as a newsreader for “Good Morning America” — and joined primetime the following year as the Saturday anchor of “World News Tonight.” Her departure from the network was first reported by the Daily Mail this morning.

In 2004, Vargas was named co-anchor of 20/20 — the second ever woman in the role — and a year later in 2005, she was named co-anchor of ABC’s “World News Tonight.”

It was in 2006 that the New Jersey native decided to step down from her role on “World News Tonight.”

Vargas decided to check herself into rehab for her alcohol addiction while vacationing in California in 2014.

“As so many other recovering alcoholics know, overcoming the disease can be a long and incredibly difficult process,” Vargas said in a statement to The News at the time.

“I feel I have let myself, my co-workers and most importantly my family down and for that I am ashamed and sorry. I am committed to battling and addressing this debilitating disease and want to thank everyone who has offered their unwavering support during this trying time,” she continued.

The news personality had previously spent time in rehab in the fall of 2013 amid her divorce with songwriter Marc Cohen, who had allegedly cheated on her while she was seeking treatment.

Vargas has two sons Zachary, 14, and Samuel, 11.

During her news tenure, Vargas has interviewed former President Bush, won an Emmy for covering the story of Elián González and investigated the book “The Da Vinci Code” and the role of Mary Magdalene.

“She brought awareness to the crisis in Iraq covering Christian refugees escaping ISIS, reported on orphans in Cambodia who were given up for adoption without their parents’ knowledge, on gendercide in India, and was at the forefront of the Amanda Knox case from its earliest days,” ABC News president James Goldston said in a memo.

Despite her broadcasting achievements, Goldson noted that their team was most proud of Vargas’ “courage and grace in telling her own story about her struggle with anxiety and alcoholism.”

Not only did Vargas detail her struggles on “20/20,” but she also penned a best-selling memoir “Between Breaths” about her addiction in 2016.

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