Only the second woman to co-anchor a major television network’s nightly newscast, as well as the first Asian-American to accomplish the same achievement, Connie Chung is a TV legend. She was born and raised in the Washington, DC area, the daughter of a Chinese Intelligence Officer.
After graduating from the University of Maryland with a journalism degree, she was hired by one of the nation’s top Independent TV stations, Washington’s WTTG. She worked her way up to reporter, and two years after commencing her broadcast journalism career, Chung was hired by CBS Television News as a Washington correspondent.
Early Broadcasting Career
While in the D.C. slot, Chung scored her first big reporting coup, an interview with then US President Richard Nixon at the height of the Watergate scandal that ultimately brought down his Presidency.
Impressed with her journalistic sense and on-screen persona, CBS moved her to Los Angeles in 1969 to be lead news anchor at the CBS owned television station, KCBS, a position she held for seven years.
Continuing to build her reputation and news credibility, Chung was hired away by NBC, where she stayed for six years and grew into one of the nation’s most popular television broadcast news personalities.
At the completion of her six year run at the Peacock network, a fierce bidding war erupted for her services and, ultimately, CBS was able to win her back. Continuing her reporting and anchoring duties during this period, Chung also helmed her own program “Face to Face with Connie Chung,” which mixed hard news interviews with entertainment features.
Continuing Her Broadcasting Legacy
In June of 1993, Ms. Chung was elevated to the co-anchor chair at the CBS nightly news, sharing the top position with Dan Rather. After two years of co-hosting the nightly set, amidst some criticisms from the public about her interviewing style and Rather’s apparent resentment of not being a solo act, CBS suggested Chung continue her career at the network but move to a less prestigious position, including weekend anchor. She declined and let her contract expire. Her departure was hastened when her champion at the network, President Howard Stringer departed and a new president, with his own agenda, came on board to head the news organization.
With additional news gigs under her belt at CNN and MSNBC through 2006, Chung retired from on-camera work to take a teaching fellowship at Harvard University.