Elizabeth Vargas, the longtime “20/20” anchor for ABC News, is gearing up for a daily evening-news program for upstart network NewsNation that she hopes will offer viewers a deep dive into the biggest stories of the day.
“I’m not there to provide my opinion,” Vargas tells Variety. She intends to go over “the big stories of the day, with in-depth, tough interviews.”
Vargas is the latest anchor to join NewsNation, the news service being built by Nexstar Media. She joins anchors including Dan Abrams, Leland Vittert and Chris Cuomo in a lineup that seeks to avoid partisan delivery and focus instead on a news product acceptable to viewers across the nation. Nexstar has flexed its corporate muscles in recent years, acquiring not only dozens of TV stations, but TV’s CW broadcast network and The Hill political-news outlet.
Vargas’ 6 p.m. program, “Elizabeth Vargas Reports” will launch from a new New York studio on April 3. She will serve as a regular contributor to NewsNation’s daytime and primetime lineup of news, analysis and talk programming.
“Elizabeth Vargas is by far one of the most talented journalists working in television news today,” said Michael Corn, president of news at NewsNation, in a prepared statement. “We’re confident that Elizabeth’s honest and empathetic interview style, coupled with her determination to get to the heart of important stories, will strike a chord with viewers as we continue delivering on NewsNation’s promise to bring you news you can trust.”.
Vargas spent 14 years as an anchor at ABC News’ “20/20” and also anchored the network’s “World News Tonight.” She left in 2018 to pursue new ventures, which have included hosting a new version of “America’s Most Wanted,” hosting the syndicated program “iCrime” and leading some investigative documentaries for A&E. She is also known for her candor about her battles with anxiety and alcoholism, and her 2016 memoir, “Between Breaths.” She is a member of the board of directors for the non-profit Partnership to End Addiction and hosts “Heart of the Matter,” a podcast focused on addiction, recovery, and the stigma so many face in their effort to heal.
She says she’s never stopped keeping tabs on the news of the day. The opportunity “to be part of a brand-news 24-hour news network was really exciting to me,” she says. Vargas is also keen to make use of a full hour. “This is not going to be ‘World News Tonight,'” she says. “We will have a lot more interviews. We have a lot more time.”
She intends to offer a newscast that helps viewers make sense of the world around them. “I don’t want the audience to come to hear my opinion,” she says. “I want the audience to learn about what happened today, what it means to them and their lives.”