It’s the end of a long chapter for Elizabeth Vargas…
The 55-year-old half-Puerto Rican journalist, an ABC News staple for two decades and co-anchor with David Muir of the network’s newsmagazine 20/20 for 14 years, is leaving the company in May after the show’s 40th season draws to a close.
The news broke on Friday and ABC News president James Goldston and Vargas told staff in memos, with Goldston saying she was going to “pursue new ventures.” There was no mention of a 20/20 anchor replacement.
“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,” wrote Vargas in a memo to her co-workers after news broke of her departure. “I am incredibly lucky to work alongside the very best in the business: the producers, editors, writers on this show, and the enormous team working every week to get our show on the air. I am so very proud of the stories we have told together.”
Vargas has worn many hats at ABC’s news division, and famously was named co-anchor of the networks’ World News Tonight with Bob Woodruff. That job was announced in late 2005, about a month before Woodruff was severely injured by an IED while covering the war in Iraq. Eventually, Vargas stepped down from WNT and Charles Gibson became sole anchor.
She became only the second female 20/20 anchor when she replaced Barbara Walters in the fall of 2004, and the first Latina.
In 2014, she spoke about her alcohol addiction, and two years later wrote a book about it, Between Breaths: A Memoir of Panic and Addiction.
Vargas came to ABC from NBC, where she was a correspondent and anchor for Dateline NBC and Today among other assignments.