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Connie Chung
Connie Chung.jpg
Connie Chung, October 11, 2006
Born August 20, 1946 (1946-08-20) (age 63)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Occupation News presenter, reporter
Spouse(s) Maury Povich (1984-present)

Constance Yu-Hwa "Connie" Chung Povich (born August 20, 1946) is an American journalist who has been an anchor and reporter for several U.S. television news networks.



The youngest of ten children (of whom she and four others, all girls, survived[1]) of a high-ranking Taiwanese diplomat, she was born and raised in Washington, D.C.[2] She graduated from Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Maryland, and went on to receive a degree in journalism at the University of Maryland, College Park in 1969. She has been married to talk show host Maury Povich since 1984. Chung converted to Judaism upon her marriage to Povich.[3] Chung announced that she was reducing her workload in 1991 in the hopes of getting pregnant. Together, they have one son, Matthew Jay Povich, who goes to the Allen-Stevenson School. He was adopted on June 20, 1995.


Chung’s network television career has spanned NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, and MSNBC. Chung was a Washington, D.C.-based correspondent for the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite in the early 1970s, during the Watergate political scandal. Later, Chung left for the Los Angeles-owned and operated station of CBS, KNXT (now KCBS) which was in the nation’s second largest (and highest paying) local market, southern California. Chung also anchored the CBS Newsbriefs for the west coast stations from the KNXT studios at Columbia Square during her tenure there.

She returned with great fanfare to network news as NBC created a new early program, NBC News at Sunrise, which was scheduled right before the Today program. Later, NBC created American Almanac, which she co-hosted with Roger Mudd, after Mudd left the NBC Nightly News, where he co-anchored for two years with Tom Brokaw.

Chung left NBC for CBS where she hosted Saturday Night with Connie Chung, and on June 1, 1993, she became the second woman (after Barbara Walters with ABC in 1976) to co-anchor a major network’s national news broadcast (the solo national news anchor title in the United States goes to Katie Couric at CBS). While hosting the CBS Evening News, Chung also hosted a side project on CBS, Eye to Eye with Connie Chung and also Face to Face with Connie Chung. After her unsuccessful co-anchoring stint with Dan Rather ended in 1995, Chung jumped to ABC News where she co-hosted the Monday edition of 20/20 with Charles Gibson and began independent interviews, a field which would soon become her trademark.

Chung's interviews were largely gentle, but often they were punctuated by a rapid-fire barrage of sharp questions. Despite this, her interviews were still widely recognized as being decidedly softer than those of other interviewers, such as Barbara Walters or Mike Wallace. Consequently, her interviews were often used as a public relations move by those looking to overcome scandal or controversy. Some of her more famous interview subjects include Claus von Bülow and U.S. Representative Gary Condit, whom Chung interviewed first after the Chandra Levy disappearance.[4] Chung was the first journalist to interview basketball legend Earvin "Magic" Johnson after he went public about being HIV-positive.

Kathleen Gingrich interview controversy

In a 1995 interview with Kathleen Gingrich, mother of Republican politician Newt Gingrich, on Eye to Eye, Ms. Gingrich said she could not say what her son thought about First Lady Hillary Clinton on the air. Chung asked Ms. Gingrich to “just whisper it to me, just between you and me,” and Ms. Gingrich replied that her son thought of Clinton as a “bitch.” Many people interpreted Chung’s suggestion that if Ms. Gingrich would whisper this statement it would be promised that the statement would be off the record. Bill Carter for the New York Times reported, "Ms. Chung had become the object of some of the most ferocious criticism, justified or not, ever directed at any network anchor as a result of her now infamous interview with Speaker Newt Gingrich's mother, Kathleen."[5]

Oklahoma City bombing interview

A few months later, in the wake of the April 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, Chung asked an Oklahoma City Fire Department spokesman, “Can the Oklahoma City Fire Department handle this?” Many viewers, particularly those in Oklahoma City, felt the question was insensitive to the situation. Thousands of viewers in Oklahoma and elsewhere called and wrote letters of protest over the tone of the questions. Moreover, co-anchor Dan Rather was irate that Chung was sent from New York to the assignment while he was already in nearby Texas. Consequently, after public outcry, and Rather's complaints, Chung was laid off as co-anchor of the CBS Evening News and was offered a demotion to weekend anchor or morning anchor.


After making the jump to ABC News as a co-host of the Monday edition of 20/20 alongside Charles Gibson, she had an interview with Gary Condit, on his relationship with murdered Washington, D.C., intern Chandra Levy.

She was a guest host of the morning program, Good Morning America. After short-lived host Lisa McRee left the program, Chung declined to take over on a permanent basis, saying she did not want to broadcast 10 hours a week in early morning hours.

Chung briefly hosted her own show on CNN entitled Connie Chung Tonight, where she was paid $2 million per year. Though her arrival at CNN was heavily hyped by the network, her show was panned by critics. CNN changed her show from live to tape-delay to make it flow better. Although it did moderately well in the ratings (a 500,000 increase in viewers), her show was suspended once the 2003 Iraq War began. During the war, she was reduced to reading hourly headlines. Once CNN resumed regular programming, Chung requested that CNN resume broadcasting her show as soon as possible. The network responded by cancelling it, even though her contract had not yet expired. In an interview, CNN founder Ted Turner called the show “just awful.”[6]


In January 2006, Chung and Maury Povich began hosting a show titled Weekends with Maury and Connie on MSNBC. It was Chung’s first appearance as a television host since 2003. The show was later cancelled and aired its final episode on June 17, 2006. On this episode, Chung, dressed in a white evening gown and writhing atop a black piano, sang a parody to the tune of Thanks for the Memory. Video clips of the bizarre, off-key farewell performance circulated on internet video sites. Connie herself commented, “All I want to be sure of is that viewers understood it was a giant self-parody. If anyone took it seriously, they really need to get a life.”[7] On the June 27, 2006, episode of The Tonight Show, Chung was interviewed by Jay Leno regarding her "Thanks for the Memories" parody. During the interview, Chung poked fun at her show’s low ratings, referring to the musical number as a “private joke for our two viewers.”


Chung accepted a teaching fellowship at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.[8]While she was at Harvard, she wrote a discussion paper titled The Business of Getting "The Get": Nailing an Exclusive Interview in Prime Time.[9][10]

Career timeline


External links

Media offices
Preceded by
Dan Rather
CBS Evening News co-anchor

with Dan Rather

Succeeded by
Dan Rather


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