UPDATE, 1 PM: That didn’t take long. ABC News has promoted special correspondent and substitute anchor Juju Chang to co-anchor of Nightline joining fellow anchors Dan Harris and Dan Abrams. News division president Ben Sherwood sent a memo to staff announcing the changes today, bidding a fond farewell to McFadden. Check out the full memo below the original story.
PREVIOUS, 12:31 PM: ABC‘s Nightline co-anchor Cynthia McFadden has departed for NBC News, where she will become senior legal and investigative correspondent. McFadden spent the past 20 years at ABC News as an anchor and correspondent before being named a correspondent for the network’s late-night news broadcast. She has served as Nightline’s co-anchor for the past nine years. Based in New York, McFadden will join the NBC News investigative unit and she will contribute across all broadcasts and platforms of NBC News. “Cynthia McFadden is a rare talent — passionate about journalism, compassionate in her view of the world, truly gifted in the art of storytelling,” NBC News chief Deborah Turness said in today’s announcement. Said McFadden: “While it is not easy leaving the Nightline anchor chair, the opportunity NBC offered to make a deep dive into the kind of reporting I am most passionate about — legal and investigative — was just too appealing to resist,” McFadden said.
I want to share some news with all of you.
Effective immediately, Juju Chang has been promoted to Co-Anchor of “Nightline.” Juju has been a vital member of the “Nightline” team for many years, and I am thrilled that she will now join the two Dans full time at the anchor desk.
A versatile correspondent and storyteller, Juju commands attention whether in her role in our award-winning coverage of Superstorm Sandy and the mass shootings in Newtown, CT, or investigating parenting and lifestyle issues. In fact, two of her recent reports made a huge impact on not only our viewers, but on me: toddlers being born and raised behind bars in a women’s prison, and babies born dependent on painkillers for our “Hidden America” series.
Juju is the perfect example of someone whose dedication and tenacity to innovative reporting has paved the way for her success. Juju has been with ABC News her entire career, starting as a desk assistant. She is also the ultimate team player, which is not surprising: outside of work, along with her husband Neal, she is raising a team of boys whose love for the New York Yankees could rival her love for ABC News!
Cynthia McFadden let me know earlier this week that she will be joining NBC News.
Cynthia has been a key member of the ABC News team for the past 20 years, traveling the world to bring our viewers important and distinctive reports, most recently from the Vatican.
As one of the original anchors of the new “Nightline” when it premiered in 2005, Cynthia was instrumental in taking the late night show from #3 to #1 in the 11:35 pm time period. Over the years, her in-depth reporting often focused on legal matters including her signature hour on Louisiana’s death row, “Judgment at Midnight” and her exclusive interview with the Central Park rapist. She has taken our viewers inside the horrific conditions of Mexican mental hospitals and the brothels of India, investigated the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan and traveled around the world with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Madonna, Cher, Beyonce, Bono, Paul Newman, Clint Eastwood, Meryl Streep, Angelina Jolie and George Clooney have all subjected themselves to her special blend of probing charm.
Whether investigating human rights abuses worldwide or interviewing world leaders and celebrities, Cynthia’s incisive reporting and candid interviews will be greatly missed.
Cynthia has been an amazing colleague, a loyal mentor to so many of our up and coming producers and I am personally grateful for her profound contributions to ABC News. It is with great fondness that I wish Cynthia the very best in her new adventure.
Please join me in congratulating Juju, and in thanking Cynthia.