Cecilia Vega, who has been with ABC News for more than a decade, will jump to a new correspondent role on CBS News’ “60 Minutes,” leaving behind an influential role covering the White House for the Disney-backed news operation.
Her move marks a rare effort to expand the hub of on-air personnel devoted to “60 Minutes.” In the recent past, executive producer Bill Owens has worked to augment his staff, elevating correspondents Sharyn Alfonsi and Jon Wertheim to full-time status and trying to develop a team devoted to a separate streaming effort tied to the show, an initiative that was ultimately scrapped. Pluto, the ad-supported streaming site operated by parent company Paramount Global, does feature a channel that features curated and archival material from the long-running program.
In an interview, Owens said he has been impressed by Vega’s range of reportorial experience as well as her time spent in print journalism. “When her window came up, I considered her the most valuable free agent on the market. I could not walk past that,” he said. “You have to think about the future of the show, and she will be part of the successful future of ’60 Minutes.'”
“This is a dream come true. I am beyond honored to join the ranks of this legendary show and to work alongside the best reporters in journalism,” said Vega, in a statement.
ABC News viewers have seen Vega reporting not only from Washington, D.C., but also filling in regularly on “Good Morning America” and anchoring weekend broadcasts of “World News Tonight.” Her departure marks the second at that news unit of up-and-coming personnel who have left to pursue new ventures at rivals. Tom Llamas, an ABC News anchor widely seen as a potential candidate to anchor a major newscast, left for a new deal at NBC News in 2021.
Vega was most recently ABC’s chief White House correspondent ,and has covered the Trump and Biden White Houses as well as Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign among other events. She joined ABC News in 2011 as a Los Angeles-based correspondent. Before that, she was a reporter for ABC’s KGO-TV in San Francisco. She got her start as a print reporter, most recently at the San Francisco Chronicle.
The journalist will ramp up slowly at “60 Minutes,” said Owens, as has been par for the course. “It takes a minute” to establish the rhythms of enterprise journalism, he said, compared to daily breaking news duties. But he hopes Vega will be able to contribute at least one story in the newsmagazine’s current season, and then do more reporting for various stories this summer.
CBS News has a reputation as an insular place that takes seriously its heritage as the home of Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite, but under co-president Neeraj Khemlani, the company has added new talent on several occasions, including former Washington Post reporter Robert Costa.